Knowledge & Politics in Gender & Women’s Studies, Ankara, Turkey, 9 - 11 October 2015, pp.533-535
How I Met Your Father: Chinese Women Immigrants in Turkey
Turkey is not as attractive as other immigrant destinations, yet Chinese/Taiwanese women married out to Turkish men, though unusual and proportionally still quite small, has grown increasingly in the three decades since the first Taiwanese woman married a Turkish man in 1982 in Ankara. Using ethnographic methods to conduct qualitative research on female Chinese immigrants in Turkey, this paper offers a glimpse of how these women cross ethnic, cultural and nation-state borders line to marry, and build families in Turkey. The paper discussed the structural and individual determinants of outmarriage, and the female immigrants' adjustment experiences in the contexts of language, food, citizenship, employment, religion, hobbies, clothing, sickness, the relations with friends and daily communication activities. This paper also examines the difference between new immigrants and old-timers and how the sense of a small ‘community’ can take shape and be expressed.
The data were collected through participant observation, group discussion and in-depth interviews.
The life stories of Chinese women in Turkey is discussed with reference to overall theories of international migration such as the “push" and “pull” dynamics of migration, individual actors’ theory, globalization, and social network theory, to assess whether or not these theories might match the reality of the women in my study.