International Development Planning Review

A world without strangers?: Taiwan's new households in the nexus of China and Southeast Asia relations

International Development Planning Review (2006), 28, (4), 447–474.

Abstract

Taiwan has entered the age of global householding. The social processes leading to this new era can be partly attributed to heightened difficulties in forming and sustaining households solely within Taiwanese society. Rates of marriage among Taiwanese are falling due to increasing difficulties in finding suitable partners. Late marriage and divorce rates are rising, both of which also contribute to declining birth rates and a shrinking labour force. In response, over the past two decades cross-border marriages have dramatically increased, and hundreds of thousands of foreign workers are being brought to Taiwan as domestic workers and caretakers for the elderly. All of these processes are highly related to shifts in social, political and economic linkages among Taiwan, mainland China and Southeast Asia. This paper details the rise of global householding and the conflicts it encounters with both Taiwan's society and its immigration policies. How the state and Taiwanese people respond to these conflicts is of critical importance to the multicultural society that is already emerging through global householding in Taiwan.

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Huang, Li-ling