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Critical conversations: being Yellow women in the time of COVID-19 (with Nini Fang)

Published first online in International Feminist Journal of Politics on March 29, 2021.

Drawing on feminist and critical race theories, this conversation unfolds the experiences of two Yellow migrant women living and working in the United Kingdom (UK) in the time of COVID-19. Opening with a brief explanation of what it means to be Yellow, we share our experiences of being seen as hysterical and our fear of being ridiculed and harassed at the beginning of the outbreak. We then discuss the racialized discourse surrounding face covering and anti-Asian racism in both the private and the public spheres. We conclude by discussing our transformation in times of crisis. We also emphasize the importance of (re)claiming our Yellowness and link such an empowering act to standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

Gendering immigration: media framings of the economic and cultural consequences of immigration

Published first online in Feminist Media Studies on January 6, 2021.

The media are found to be racialized in framing immigration. Yet, little is known about how the media across regions are gendered in their framings of immigration as economic and cultural issues. Drawing from a representative sample of newspapers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, the U.K., and the U.S., this paper conducts a framing analysis of over 1,700 news articles to examine the media’s gendering of the economic and cultural consequences of immigration. This paper shows that the media identify migrant men at a higher rate than women when framing immigration as an economic issue and that the media identify migrant women at a higher rate when framing immigration as a cultural issue. However, the findings also suggest that the media do so subtly—the gender of immigrants is rarely revealed but implicitly suggested via stereotypes and cues. This paper provides empirical evidence supporting feminist theory and fills a gap in current literature by adding the intersectional dimensions taking gender and migrant status into account. It offers insight into how the media discursively construct migrant men and women are to illustrate the gendered division of their impact on the economy and culture.

Gender, Migration, and News

Published in the International Encyclopedia of Gender, Media, and Communication (Ed. Karen Ross), John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

The media’s selective construction of migrant identities and prioritization of migrant issues has been found to shape the public perception of migrants. While extant studies primarily focus on the racialized dimensions of the representation of migrants, this entry provides a comprehensive overview of how the media gender their discourse surrounding migration and citizenship. An intersectional analysis of the media’s construction of meaning of citizenships is crucial because migrant women face multiple forms of marginalization and oppression. This entry thus draws from a wide range of up‐to‐date research to illustrate the power dynamics surrounding the representation of migrant women. Taking a transnational approach, it reviews research that explores the gendered aspects of various space and time. Through the examination of the media’s gendered discussion of migration, this entry unfolds how migrant women are situated within the hegemonic political context.

Framing immigration: a content analysis of newspapers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States

Published first online in Politics, Groups, and Identities on August 8, 2019.

This study examines the media framings of immigration in Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Using a content analysis of over 1700 newspaper articles published in 2014 in different cases, my findings show that, regardless of context, the media use a small number of frames to stereotype, generalize and reduce immigration to a singular dimension. My analysis also suggests that the media do not always only have a binary representation of bad or good immigrants. Instead, the media’s othering of immigrants is a complex process, suggesting ambivalence despite superficial affirmation. Although my findings also demonstrate that some national differences exist, common patterns can be found across contexts that share similar historical, cultural, social, economic, and political dimensions of immigration. As one of the first cross-regional comparisons of media framings, this research reflects the power dynamics between the elites and immigrants and offers implications for how the media’s reinforcement of stereotypes and outsider status of immigrants could potentially shape public opinion and policies regarding immigration.

Chinese migrant wives in Taiwan: claiming entitlements, resisting inequality, and rejecting citizenship

Published first online in International Feminist Journal of Politics on May 3, 2019

A considerable number of Chinese women have migrated to Taiwan through marriage over the last two decades. Although the demographics of these marriage migrants have transformed over the years, a misunderstanding still exists as migrant wives are seen as commodities and gaining citizen status is seen as their ultimate goal. Using in-depth interviews, this research takes a bottom-up approach by allowing Chinese migrant women in Taiwan to define and interpret their own citizenship. It explains how they negotiate the politics of citizenship as they confront harsher immigration restrictions than immigrants of other origins because of their Chinese identity. This paper suggests that immigrants’ intersectional identities shape their conceptualization of Taiwanese citizenship, although their agency is limited. My findings illustrate that some Chinese migrant wives embrace citizenship entitlements while others’ experiences with citizenship differ depending on their positionality in both the private and the public. My findings also show that some migrant wives actively reject Taiwanese citizenship, challenging the myth that all Chinese immigrants desire Taiwanese citizenship. This study contributes to citizenship and migration studies using a feminist, intersectional approach and raises implications for the degree to which migrant wives have agency in constructing their citizenship.


Gendering Immigration: A Comparative Study of the Impact of Media on Public Opinion on the Huddled Masses

Although international migration is not a new phenomenon, little systematic evidence exists to verify the causal connections between the media discourse surrounding immigration and public attitudes toward immigrants. Utilizing survey experiments in Hong Kong, Taiwan, the U.K., and the U.S. this project empirically tests several hypotheses derived from the theory that media frames and public opinion are gendered. I find that native citizens are more likely to reject male immigrants when learning about the economic impacts of immigration and more likely to reject female immigrants when exposed to the cultural consequences of immigration. This research contributes to the understanding of the causal connections between the media and public opinion. It also offers implications for how states may respond to increasingly biased public opinion regarding and right-wing movements against immigrants. My cross-regional data and analyses allow for contextualizing the media effects and conceptualizing national identities that may be developed vis-à-vis citizens’ acceptance of or opposition to immigrants in becoming members of their countries.

Gendered Media Discourse Surrounding Immigration: Evidence from Hong Kong, Taiwan, the U.K., and the U.S.

Journalists’ portrayals of immigration issues and immigrants are found to be biased; however, little is known about how the media gender their framings of immigration. This research characterizes how the media frame immigration through content analysis of a representative sample of approximately 1,500 newspaper articles published in 2014 in Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This research suggests that the media overwhelmingly incorporate implicit gender stereotypes when reporting on immigration. It also finds that the media coverage on the economic consequences of immigration is likely to lead to an emphasis on the masculine occupations that migrant men are likely to hold while the media are likely to associate the cultural consequences of immigration with migrant women. this research offers an integrated theory of the role of gender, when interacted with the economic and cultural aspects of immigration, in the construction and impact of media framings. This study offers implications for how states may respond to gendered immigration, particularly in light of recent global events, such as the media’s portrayal of male refugees in Cologne, Germany, as rapists.

Civic Education’s Impact on Opinion towards Immigrant Rights: A Comparative Study of Youths’ Attitudes

Current literature on opinion regarding immigration focuses on adults to understand how national-level factors, such as population of asylum seekers, affect attitudes toward immigrants. Individuals’ attitudes are often shaped in childhood, so we employ a survey of youth—those not yet in the work force—to examine how education, influences attitudes toward immigrants. We hypothesize that adolescents’ attitudes toward immigrants are likely to be developed and shaped by civic education’s coverage on immigration and cultural differences. Utilizing the 2009 IEA Civic Education Study of 15-year-old students in 26 democracies in a multilevel models, we test the effect of including immigration and cultural diversity in civic education classes on individual youth’s opinion. Our preliminary analysis suggests that the instructors’ incorporation of these topics increases support for immigrant rights. Our findings show that states play a role in citizens’ acceptance of immigrants’ rights and that educational institutions can enhance the understanding of immigration in light of the globalized world.