Project Details


Rutgers University doctoral student, Chigusa Yamaura, supervised by Dr. Louisa Schein, will undertake research on the emerging phenomenon of transnational marriages and their effects on traditional forms of kinship, nationalism, and international relationships. She will focus her research on the growing trend of brokered transnational marriages between Japanese men and Chinese women. In particular, she will investigate how social and familial obligations, gender ideologies, Sino-Japanese historical relations, and current economic inequalities influence the production and navigation of new forms of family organization at a transnational level.Surprisingly, preliminary research suggests that participants in these marriages frame their relations as a form of intra-community (rather than inter-community) marriage. To do so, they draw upon racial, cultural, regional, and even genealogical discourses in an effort to create similarities and obscure power inequalities and historical antagonisms. To further investigate how participants, brokers, and family members conceptualize these marriages in the context of economic disparities and contentious national discourses, the researcher will conduct field research in both Japan and China. She will employ multiple social science research methods, including participant observation, in-depth interviews, clientele surveys, and media analysis. The research is important because it will contribute to social science theory about the relationships between globalization and social change. While it is clear that globalization is not, as once predicted, making all societies the same, it is also clear that globalization is producing hitherto unknown forms of kinship and family. Comparative local-level ethnographic research will help social scientists better understand what these new forms are and how they are produced. The research also will contribute to the education of a social scientist.
Effective start/end date7/1/0912/31/10


  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))


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