China Seminar 6 December 2011

CHINA SEMINAR | 06 DECEMBER 2011 | Annika Pissin | Must “left
behind children” miss their mothers?

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Must “left behind children” miss their

Speaker:  Dr. Annika
Pissin (Center for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund
Expertise:  Children in contemporary and medieval China

Date and time:  Tuesday, 6 December
2011, 15.15 – 17.00h
M. de Vrieshof 4/ 012


Language:  English

economic growth in the past two decades rests on millions of migrant workers
from rural areas. An increasing number of these workers are parents of young
children who either take their children with them or leave them in their rural
homes with grandparents or other relatives and neighbors. The latter group,
labeled ‘left behind children’, receives increasing attention. Their number is
currently estimated at about 58 million. This presentation provides a critical
analysis of the existing literature and discourses about ‘left behind children’
in China,
and deconstructs the dominant approach to ‘left behind children’ in terms of
its urban/academic/state bias and the implications of this bias. Problems
discussed are the nationalist idea of ‘the mother’ and its utilization in
capitalism, grandparents and the constructed estrangement of two ‘left behind’
generations, and new dangers children face in the era of ‘biopolitics’. The
talk presents part of ongoing research about children, family and security in
contemporary China
within an anthropological and historical framework.

Speaker’s resume:
Annika Pissin studied classical Chinese and anthropology in Heidelberg,
Tainan, and Leiden. She graduated in 2003 in Leiden with a thesis about demonic birds, and received a
PhD in 2009 for her research about children in medieval China from Leiden University.
Since 2010 she is a post-doctoral researcher at Lund
University in Sweden, where she conducts research about
children in disasters, migration, and educational violence in contemporary China among others.
Her fields of research are anthropology and history. She gives lectures in
world history, teaches gender, children’s rights, applied fieldwork,
comparative anthropology and other subjects mostly with a focus on South-East
and East Asia.




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