Vol. 8, No. 2 (2012): 113–143.
Research on Taiwanese migrants has primarily been conducted in Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada, but much less in non-English speaking countries such as Argentina. The literature on Taiwanese immigrants has also tended to overlook young people, whether born in Taiwan or in destination countries. The present research tries to fill in this gap by focusing on the family ties of young Taiwanese migrants in Argentina, and the role they play in their adaptation to Argentina and return-migration decisions. The objective of this research is to depict the situation of young people of Taiwanese origin in Argentina. The guiding question is, how do these young people view their family and national identity? The method of study is first a literature review mainly based on statistics, surveys and other secondary sources. Moreover, to get a snapshot of young return migrants from Argentina, 18 interviews with semi-structured questionnaires were conducted in Taiwan between 2008 and 2009. Cultural norms between Taiwan and Argentina are quite different, as manifested by the concepts of savings, intercultural marriages and filial piety which have not been eroded by being abroad at a young age. Young immigrants tend to follow the social norms of intergenerational relations at the places of origin, and seem less affected by those of Argentina. At the same time, the transnational traits exhibited by the younger generation are shown by their bilingual ability, friendship with Argentineans, getting employment and participation in various social activities. The term “sandwich generation” may best describe the younger generation of Taiwanese living in Argentina or that has returned to Taiwan, referring to how they are squeezed between fulfilling responsibilities to elderly parents and their own children.
Bernardo Trejos is originally from Costa Rica and is currently an assistant professor at Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (ROC), where he is co-appointed by both the Department of International Business Administration and the Department of English. He holds a PhD degree in Rural Planning and Development from the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology and received an award from this university for his outstanding research. His previous research has focused on community-based tourism from the perspective of network theory.
Lan-hung Nora Chiang is Professor Emerita of Geography, and formerly, Associate Dean in the College of Science at National Taiwan University. Her recent research has been published in many well-recognised international journals and books on the subjects of transnational migration, feminist geography and sustainable tourism. She has recently completed a special issue for the Journal of Geographical Science on Asian Women: Gender, Migration, and Work. She is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Population Studies (Taiwan).