Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Educationally channeled international labor migration: Post-1978 student mobility from China to Japan
by Farrer, Gracia Liu, Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 2007, 325; 3262325
Abstract (Summary)

"Educationally channeled international labor migration" describes the overlapping trends of international student migration and labor mobility in the contemporary world. Numbered in the millions, international students are an important migrant population. Since the existing scholarship on international migration mostly concerns itself with the plight of low-wage labor migrants, international students are but occasionally mentioned in discussions of skilled labor migration. Using the case of student mobility from China to Japan since 1978, this dissertation brings this long-neglected migrant group into the spotlight, and examines the issues involved in this unique mode of labor migration.

This dissertation embraces three tasks. First, it introduces and defines the concept of educationally channeled labor migration. It shows that international education is a de facto channel of labor migration. Both skilled labor and unskilled labor are produced in the process. In the case of Chinese students in Japan, unskilled laborers emerge among student migrants with no real academic intentions, visa overstayers and self-financed students pursuing an education in Japanese schools. Skilled labor is produced when students obtain educational credentials from Japanese higher educational institutions and enter Japan's labor market. Second, this dissertation illustrates the close relationships between the labor market outcomes of international student migrants and economic globalization processes. Besides industry-specific knowledge or general scientific and engineering skills, international students offer the host country cultural and linguistic skills—the types necessary for developing transnational businesses. This study shows that both the Chinese students' occupational characteristics in corporate Japan and entrepreneurial practices represent new modes of immigrant transnational activity. Finally, this dissertation contributes to immigration studies in Japan. By detailing Chinese students' motivations for international education, the means through which Chinese students have managed to enter Japan, their labor market experiences in every stage of the migration process and career mobility patterns, this dissertation not only educates Japanese society about the reality of Chinese student migration but also helps policy makers understand the important roles international students have played in Japan's economy, both domestically and globally.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sassen, Saskia, Yamaguchi, Kazuo
School: The University of Chicago
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 68/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational sociology, Minority & ethnic groups, Sociology, Demographics
Keywords: China, Educationally channeled, International migration, Japan, Labor migration, Mobility
Publication Number: 3262325
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