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Eva Bahl & Yvonne Berger: Processes of South-South Migration in Their Historical Context: Biographical Case Studies from Brazil and China. [Abstract]

This article examines interweaving collective histories in different formerly colonized regions of the world: 1. Migratory movements from the territory of the former Ottoman Empire to the Americas, specifically to Brazil, and 2. transregional migration between different regions within China. On the basis of empirical data, we discuss sociological biographical research as an approach to analyzing migration and social mobility as transgenerational processes. In the case of Syrians in Brazil who have fled from the civil war, these processes are reflected in transnational family structures, transgenerational mandates, and knowledge transmission. In the case of domestic migration within China, the “mission” that families give their children is social advancement through education (e.g., Crabb 2010; Fong 2004). In the context of anti-Western discourses in China, it can be demonstrated that postcolonial discourses are functional in the effort to regain former international strength and national prosperity, and that discourses on “becoming a modern citizen” pervade family aspirations. The article is intended as a plea for i) taking a closer look at historical and contemporary South-South relations, and ii) situating current migration movements historically. It ties into global historical and sociological debates on “shared/common histories” and “intertwined histories.”

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