Roots and Routes: Identification of young Chinese women in a world of globalisation and mobility
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In a globalising world society, individuals and groups are no longer located in one particular culture, homogeneous in itself and contrastingly set against other cultures, but are increasingly living on the interfaces of cultures. In this thesis, I examine the way young Chinese women deal with different discourses in a world of globalisation. Focusing on a small touristic town in South China, I analyse the world of views, expectations and discourses of young women: waitresses in Western bars, students English and their surroundings. I stress the importance of looking at globalisation as a highly complex, varied and inherently uneven process. I also stress the importance of agency in this thesis. I suggest that processes of globalisation and mobility will result in the complementarity of roots and routes in the lives of young Chinese women. Meanings are equally generated on the move and in flows and connections between cultures. Their roots however continue to be of significant importance. Being in contact with other cultures and discourses and being on the move makes these women more aware of themselves and what they want in life. The process of identification with different discourses will create new expectations, identities and routes. I suggest that the agency of these girls lies in the fact that they can balance between these different and sometimes contradicting discourses and life trajectories. Next to agency I will also discuss faced restrictions, social pressure, domination and the unevenness of globalisation.