Chinese Female Return Migrants’ Emotion in the Domestic Sphere
Download PDF


Return migrants
Emotion work
Feeling rule



Submitted : 2023-06-27
Accepted : 2023-07-12
Published : 2023-07-27


Recently, the study of emotion has become an important subject in sociology. Many works have been done on analyzing people’s emotions and emotion work, especially on migrants and transnational families, how people feel when they are apart from their families, and how they try to manage their feelings. However, not many studies have been done of the emotions and emotion work of return migrants and their relationship with their family members. Therefore, in this paper, the emotion work of female return migrants and their relationship with their family members is studied. In this thesis, the feelings experienced and how they manage their feelings will be examined, and the consequences and impact of their effort in trying to manage their feelings will be discussed. In most cases, female return migrants may face more severe challenges than males for many reasons such as social stereotypes of women and roles they should take on in a family, and the emotions they are supposed to feel. Hence, it is noteworthy to study how they deal with these issues.


Goffman E, 1959, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Doubleday, New York.

Hochschild AR, 1979, Emotion Work, Feeling Rules, and Social Structure. American Journal of Sociology. 85(3): 551–575.

Hochschild AR, 1983, The Managed Heart Commercialization of Human Feeling, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, 56–86.

McLeod D, 2014, Home and Away: Family Matters in the Lives of Young Transnational Couples. Journal of Sociology, 50(3): 368–382.

Valentine G, 2006, Globalizing Intimacy: The Role of Information and Communication Technologies in Maintaining and Creating Relationships. Women’s Studies Quarterly. 34(1/2): 365–393.

Sussman NM, 2011, Return Migration and Identity: A Global Phenomenon, A Hong Kong Case, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong.

Kuan T, 2011, The Heart Says One Thin but Hand Does Another: A Story About Emotion-work Ambivalence and Popular Advice for Parents. The China Journal, 65: 77–100.

Mesquita B, Delvaux E, 2013, A Cultural Perspective on Emotion Labor. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, New York and London.

Yan Y, 2010, The Chinese Path to Individualization. The British Journal of Sociology, 61(3): 489–512.

Lively JK, 2013, Social and Cultural Influencers: Gender Effects on Emotional Labor at Work and at Home. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, New York and London.