Taiwanese in Australia: Two Decades of Settlement Experiences

  • Lan-Hung Nora Chiang National Taiwan University
  • Jung-Chung Richard Hsu Taipei Municipal University of Education
Keywords: Employment, Residential Mobility, Lone Mothers, Young First Generation, Circular Taiwanese Diaspora, Dual Identity


Most Taiwanese immigrants to Australia experience downward social mobility due to factors such as unaccredited overseas qualifications, lack of English proficiency and local knowledge, and other institutional discriminatory factors. However, a high home ownership rate among Taiwanese migrants has been found. Their locational choice depends on income and housing budget, proximity to good schools and shopping centers, and information from friends or earlier migrants. This paper also addresses the experiences and types of problems faced by middleclass Taiwanese immigrant women in "astronaut" households. Being excluded from the labor market, the women tried to balance the needs of the husbands and the children, and suffer a number of disadvantages in their new environment, while on the other hand frequently enjoyed an autonomy and freedom from their familial responsibilities in Taiwan. A new pattern of circular Chinese diaspora was found among the young first generation Taiwanese immigrants to Australia as they returned after finishing their tertiary education in Australia. Reunions with their families in Taiwan, search for potential spouse, and their affection towards Taiwan had all been important factors to affect their decisions. They had developed a dual identity that encompassed Taiwanese and Australian cultures, due to their constant need to adapt to both societies.


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