Perceived Understandings of Home and Self-identity among Mainland Chinese Dual Migrants in Macao

Bei Ju, Todd L. Sandel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper focuses on the meanings of home and self-identity perceived by mainland Chinese dual migrant workers in Macao. Due to the high living cost in Macao, a majority of mainland Chinese labour migrants choose to migrate daily across the Zhuhai-Macao border. Drawing upon fourteen in-depth interviews and two group discussions among low-skilled labour migrants from the mainland, findings show the co-existence of temporality and situatedness in the mobilized experiences of mainland Chinese dual migrants. Home is found to be an emotional and social investment, tied to a fixed, remembered space, and a mobile, multi-layered, and unstable site, impacted by the experience of daily cross-border mobility. Impacted by the Zhuhai-Macao border, participants may self-identify as ‘outsiders’ to Macao, who ‘belong’ to a place in mainland China due to the perceived hierarchy in Macao society. However, this identification is fluid and dynamic, and changes within and across social groupings and settings. Findings from this study shed light on China as a special context for internal and border-crossing migration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-115
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Intercultural Studies
Issue number2
Early online date11 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • home
  • self-identity
  • belonging
  • mainland Chinese dual migrants


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