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Millionaire Migrants: Trans-Pacific Life Lines

ISBN: 978-1-4051-9292-7
326 pages
April 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
Millionaire Migrants: Trans-Pacific Life Lines (1405192925) cover image


Based on extensive interviewing and access to a wide range of databases, this is an examination of the migration career of wealthy migrants who left East Asia and relocated to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • An interdisciplinary project based on over 15 years of research in Vancouver, Toronto, and Hong Kong, with additional comparative visits and consultations in Sydney, Beijing, and Singapore
  • Traces the histories of the migrants families over a 25 year period
  • Offers a critical view of the spatial presuppositions of neo-liberal globalization, and an insertion of geography into transnational theory
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Table of Contents

List of Figures.

List of Tables.

Series Editors' Preface.


1 Introduction: Trans-Pacific Mobility and the New Immigration Paradigm.

2 Transition: From the Orient to the Pacifi c Rim.

3 Calculating Agents: Millionaire Migrants Meet the Canadian State.

4 Geography (still) Matters: Homo Economicus and the Business Immigration Programme.

5 Embodied Real Estate: The Cultural Mobility of Property.

6 Immigrant Reception: Contesting Globalization… or Resistant Racism?

7 Establishing Roots: From the Nuclear Family to Substantive Citizenship.

8 Roots and Routes: The Myth of Return or Transnational Circulation?

9 Conclusion: Immigrants in Space.




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Author Information

David Ley is Canada Research Chair of Geography at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. His research examines the social geography of gateway cities, including relations between immigration and urbanisation, and gentrification and housing markets. He is the author of The New Middle Class and the Remaking of the Central City  (1996), and A Social Geography of the City (1983), co-author of Neighbourhood Organizations and the Welfare State (1994), and co-editor of Place/Culture/Representation (1993). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the Pierre Trudeau Foundation.
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"Millionaire Migrants is well illustrated, written in an approachable style and supplemented with an extensive bibliography. Scholars and students in migration studies, especially those who are interested in the Vancouver case, will certainly find this book enjoyable and useful." (Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 10 November 2011)

"This is a book to dip into to find inspiration." (PPR, May 2010)‘Students of international migrants typically focus on the trials and tribulations of poor and low-skilled people in a not very welcoming society. Their work, while valuable, does not always reflect the intricacies of the processes of international mobility and transnational connectivity as we know them today. David Ley’s multi-level study is a welcome correction to this one-sided representation. He carefully addresses the various aspects of the complex lives of millionaire migrants, resulting in a well-written and insightful book.’
—Jan Rath, Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES), University of Amsterdam

‘In Millionaire Migrants, David Ley once more demonstrates his international leadership in the field of social and cultural Geography, with this dazzling account of the transnational circulatory flows of Chinese between East Asia and Canada. Ley sees through the claims made for the success of business migration to the rather more modest achievements underneath.’
—Ceri Peach, University of Oxford

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