Maintaining transnational ties and the convertibility of working holiday makers’ experiences in Australia

Yao-Tai Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Migration studies have investigated the complex relationship between transnational ties and integration among long-term immigrants. However, discussions about temporary migrant motives for maintaining transnational ties remain under-explored. Focusing on how Chinese Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) see integration and the ‘convertibility’ of temporary experiences in Australia, this article highlights that temporary migrants are not just concerned with achieving integration in the present but also better chances in the future. Such concerns are oriented toward both receiving and home countries. To be specific, WHMs consciously maintain transnational ties to sustain their integration processes or in the event of a return home. Meanwhile, they try to stay in their host countries in order to allay the stigmas attached to them and to address other cultural concerns (such as saving ‘face’). Because they may return to their home countries, they accumulate socio-cultural capital (e.g., English proficiency and overseas experience) while in Australia that they hope to employ in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-332
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Sociology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Australia
  • convertibility
  • integration
  • temporary migration
  • transnational ties
  • socio-cultural capital
  • working holiday maker


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