Helena Hof, “The EU Migrant Generation in Asia: Middle-Class Aspirations in Asian Global Cities” (Policy Press, 2022)

Drawing on an extensive study with young individuals who migrated to Singapore and Tokyo in the 2010s, The EU Migrant Generation in Asia: Middle-Class Aspirations in Asian Global Cities (Policy Press, 2022) by Helena Hof sheds light on the friendships, emotions, hopes, and fears involved in establishing life as Europeans in Asia.

It demonstrates how migration to Asian business centres has become a way of distinction and an alternative route of middle-class reproduction for young Europeans during that period. The perceived insecurities of life in the crisis-ridden EU result in these migrants’ onward migration or prolonged stays in Asia.

Capturing the changing roles of Singapore and Japan as migration destinations, this pioneering work makes the case for EU citizens’ aspired lifestyles and professional employment that is no longer only attainable in Europe or the West.

Helena Hof is Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer at the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, University of Zurich, and Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity.

Shatrunjay Mall is a PhD candidate at the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He works on transnational Asian history, and his dissertation explores intellectual, political, and cultural intersections and affinities that emerged between Indian anti-colonialism and imperial Japan in the twentieth century.

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