This compendium of stories on spaces is the fruit of long-term collaboration among the members of the BelMix research team, based at the Laboratory of Anthropology of Contemporary Worlds (LAMC) at the Université libre de Bruxelles. The team has been studying migration and conjugal mixedness in Belgium and selected Southeast and East Asian countries. Recently, BelMix has expanded its analytical gaze to include other cases and situations of mixedness beyond the Europe-Asia social spaces. It aims to bring new insights into the dynamics and evolution of present-day societies as well as the changing meanings of intimacy and the family.
Contrary to media’s depictions of China’s expanding influence in Africa, the Chinese in Africa, despite their economic privilege, experience “politico-administrative vulnerability” in their interactions with street-level bureaucrats. However, they are neither exclusively privileged nor vulnerable.
On the basis of data gathered by two independent ethnographic studies of gay Chinese migrants in France and Belgium, this paper aims to identify the role of intersecting and parallel aspirations which shape their migration trajectories toward Western countries. These aspirations include motivations to respond to or appropriate traditional family configurations, imaginaries that characterize the countries of destination, the desire to fulfill same-sex sexual and relationship goals, as well as class, educational, national, and ethnic affiliations. Using concepts of intersectionality and super-diversity, this paper further argues that the simultaneous and overlapping nature of these motivations deserves to be discussed as a subset of current Chinese diasporas.