We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Family-mediated migration infrastructure : Chinese international students and parents navigating (im)mobilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hu, Yang and Xu, Cora Lingling and Tu, Mengwei (2022) 'Family-mediated migration infrastructure : Chinese international students and parents navigating (im)mobilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.', Chinese sociological review., 54 (1). pp. 62-87.


The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated responses such as border closure, lockdown measures and flight controls have severely disrupted transnational infrastructures that sustain, channel, organize, and condition international migration. This infrastructural disruption has led to the double exclusion of temporary migrants from both sending and host societies. In this context, we explore how Chinese international students in the United Kingdom and their parents in China navigate transnational (im)mobilities during the pandemic. In doing so, we develop the conceptualization of “family-mediated migration infrastructure” to elucidate the role played by transnational family relationships in brokering information, mobilizing resources, and coordinating disjointed acts of institutional players in order to sustain transnational (im)mobility. We also reveal a distinctive emotional double-bind in the process of family-mediated infrastructuring, which requires members of transnational families to strategically perform emotional engagement and detachment in complex ways. Our findings highlight the functional resilience and emotional vulnerability of family-mediated transnational migration infrastructure, and render visible the intimate fabrics that contribute to sustaining transnationalism during the pandemic.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Chinese, COVID-19, Family, Infrastructure, International Students, Migration, Transnational
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Chinese sociological review on 30 October 2020, available online:
Date accepted:14 October 2020
Date deposited:18 November 2020
Date of first online publication:30 October 2020
Date first made open access:30 April 2022

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar