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Project
Project
Identity Redifinition and Self-representation of Immigrant Women from Southeast Asia and Mainland China through International Marriage.
PI
Chun-Chi Wang, Ph.D.
Field Site
Hualien City
Publication Link
Chun-Chi Wang, Ph.D. / Publications / Publications Link
 
Name of Integrated Research Project
Cross-disciplinary Study of Humanities and Social Science: Humanistic Imagination, Local Practice, and Social Innovation  
 
Chief Investigator of Integrated Research Project
Meei-Ju Lin, Ph.D., Yaw-Sheng Lin, Ph.D.  
 
Finacial Source
Ministry of Science and Technology 
 
Research Assistants
Hua-Mei Yang, Monica Yeh, Mu-Fan Kao, Dora Huang, 方璿媛 
 
Cooperation Agency
YWCA (Hualien) 
 
Abstract
This research project aims to provide different ways in which marriage-based immigrant women from Southeast Asia and Mainland China living in Hualien can express themselves, speak for themselves, and empower themselves. The creative workshops of life story, people’s theater, and participatory documentary filmmaking are proposed, because they are designed to give voices to the underprivileged and thus underrepresented minority to go beyond the limits set by their social identities and positions. Moreover, these approaches can serve as a threshold through which we can explore why, when, and how this particular group of immigrant women bounded by their living conditions expresses themselves and what is being said. Giving an account of one’s life experience allows the narrator to revisit her past in a reflexive manner by attending to the personal and structural factors that affect one’s decision making. The reflection process reinforces one’s sense of control over one’s self and one’s environment. As participants switch between the listener and the speaker role, other people’s experiences serve as a mirror to one’s own problems. The shared life stories collectively constitute the repertoire of strategies and solutions, and the sharing of life stories gives rise to a sense of solidarity and comradeship. People’s theater, the creative workshop for the second year and founded by Brazilian theater director Augusto Boal, is a dialectical theatrical form that encourages the audience/spectator to intervene in the play by replacing the actor during the course of the story in order to change the story. Participatory documentary filmmaking, the major activity for the third year, follows the paradigm set up by French ethnographic film director Jean Rouch who in his films provoked his characters to react to the camera, to comment on, and to negotiate the ways in which they are represented and constructed. Immigrant women who participate in these critical and creative activities are expected to better understand the circumstances that shape their lives, and being a knowing subject helps them to awaken and toughen their inner strength to face challenges and to take action.Furthermore, the process of working with this particular group of immigrant women allows the researchers to contextualize their daily life struggles and to formulate localized knowledge that in turn redefines the idea of empowerment. As this project undertakes the methodology of action research, the researchers will be able to reflect on the rationality and appropriateness of the approaches to self-empowerment and self-representation by analyzing both the positive and negative responses and feedbacks from the immigrant women participants.  
Township
Hualien City 
Ethnic
New immigrants 
Basin
Hualien River 
Main Keywords
female marriage immigrants
self-representation
empowerment
unofficial support system  
Secondary Keywords
Hualien
multiculturalism
creativity