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Mobilities, Translocal Economies and Emotional Modernity : from the factory to digital platforms between China and Taïwan

Abstract : On the backroads, hidden inside a suitcase, invisible to border controls, an orange, fluorescent bra made in a textile factory in Southern China crosses the Strait and arrives to Taiwan. There, it wanders and circulates, on translocal physical and digital platforms, and it moves back to its place of production in China. Questioning the movements of this object implies interrogating the social and emotional patterns of its producers: young female workers who engage into rural-to-urban labor migration in China first, and marriage-migration to Taiwan later. The sui generis path of this bra illustrates women’s mobilities, which cross several social, economic and moral barriers, circulating through the borders of hierarchical, inegalitarian and rigid normative regimes.My research investigates the translocal, creative strategies these women develop, on a physical and virtual level, to “undo” a condition of subalternity experienced all along mobilities. Inside the hyper local microcosmos of their daily translocal lives, women contest markets, produce disorder and re-define an emotional modernity. Through a plurality of material and immaterial, virtual and emotional practices, Chinese migrant women cope with local and global hierarchies and inequalities to “take their place” inside new glocal spaces.Transnational entrepreneurship, under the form of an emotional petit capitalism, sustains women’s social, economic and emotional re-positioning. Setting sails through global production and local consumption, Chinese women produce multipolar economies which connect the multiple physical and digital spaces of their migrations. The cartography of the social, economic and emotional labyrinthic and bifurcated movements of the commercialised objects demonstrates the hybrid and syncretic convergence between the logics of the market and hyperlocal practices.Theoretically, epistemologically and methodologically, this work contributes to a global economic sociology, to a sociology of emotions, and to a sociology of transnational migrations.This works seeks to rethink and reconsider the movements and mobilities of objects, subjects and emotions within the complex frame of a dialectic between the local and the global, the physical and virtual, the material and the emotional. Women’s translocal emotional petit capitalism, generated through social networks and developed on the backroads, constitutes the mutable, malleable and polyhedral substance of globalisation. In that respect, the backroads, trails and paths of glocal economies can cross, merge and mix with the main roads of global markets. Globalisation can thus emerge inside these social, economic and emotional hyperlocal sections, all at once interconnected.
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  • HAL Id : tel-02612789, version 2

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Beatrice Zani. Mobilities, Translocal Economies and Emotional Modernity : from the factory to digital platforms between China and Taïwan. Sociology. Université de Lyon, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019LYSE2109⟩. ⟨tel-02612789v2⟩

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