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Illegal Migration in China: Social Perspectives on Modern “Snakeheads”

Yen, Emmy LU (2013) KINK01 20122
Chinese Studies
Abstract (Chinese)
论文摘要

本论文分析对现代“蛇头”在中国移民较多的省份及地区存在的多种社会观点。论文指出,即使
“蛇头”法律上是犯罪分子,社会中不同的人群将从痛恨到钦佩以许多不同的观点看待他们。随
后本文试图找出此现象的原因。以当前的非法移民研究与案例为基础,为了评价“蛇头”的不同
的社会地位本论文将分析(1)“蛇头”的职业 (2)“蛇头”组织偷渡的手段 (3)以福建省为例,
中国移民较多的省份及地区的社会、历史、地域文化等特点。
之所以对“蛇头”的观点不一显然与该地域的历史、想要出国的强烈欲望与社会压力以及对法制
观念的糢糊与淡漠等三个方面密切相关。只有理解该地区的社会、历史及地域文化才能全面地
了解“蛇头”的社会地位。为了长期有效地减少非法移民需要针对性的社会教育和一些地域文化
习俗的改造,仅仅加强防范机制和法律的力量不能解决问题。

关键词:蛇头,人蛇,偷渡,非法移民,偷渡案例,社会地位,社会观点,地域文化,福建省
Abstract
This essay attempts to analyze possible social perspectives on modern day “snakeheads“ (shetou 蛇头, facilitators of irregular migration) in China’s emigration-intense regions. The essay argues that even though “snakeheads” are criminals there is a huge variety of perspectives on how “snakeheads“ are perceived by society - reaching from condemned and hated to celebrated and admired - and tries to find reasons for this phenomenon.
While connecting case studies to current research, the evaluation of their social position is approached by analyzing (1) their occupations, (2) the methods they use in illegal border crossings and (3) distinct features of history, culture and society of the emigration-intense regions using the example of Fujian... (More)
This essay attempts to analyze possible social perspectives on modern day “snakeheads“ (shetou 蛇头, facilitators of irregular migration) in China’s emigration-intense regions. The essay argues that even though “snakeheads” are criminals there is a huge variety of perspectives on how “snakeheads“ are perceived by society - reaching from condemned and hated to celebrated and admired - and tries to find reasons for this phenomenon.
While connecting case studies to current research, the evaluation of their social position is approached by analyzing (1) their occupations, (2) the methods they use in illegal border crossings and (3) distinct features of history, culture and society of the emigration-intense regions using the example of Fujian Province.
The existence of the various perspectives on “snakeheads” seems closely related to three aspects: historical tendencies, the strong desire and social expectation to go abroad, and the unclear sense of the concepts of legal and illegal of members of society in the emigration-intense regions. It will be shown that a full understanding of their social position is only possible through understanding those distinct features of history, culture and society, thus suggesting that effectively reducing irregular migration in long term can most likely only be accomplished by understanding and reshaping these cultural practices and
educating society, not only by reinforcing legal pressure.

Keywords: “snakehead”, shetou, 蛇头, irregular migration, illegal migration, social position, social perspective, emigration-intese regions, Fujian (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
@misc{4220220,
  abstract     = {This essay attempts to analyze possible social perspectives on modern day “snakeheads“ (shetou 蛇头, facilitators of irregular migration) in China’s emigration-intense regions. The essay argues that even though “snakeheads” are criminals there is a huge variety of perspectives on how “snakeheads“ are perceived by society - reaching from condemned and hated to celebrated and admired - and tries to find reasons for this phenomenon.
While connecting case studies to current research, the evaluation of their social position is approached by analyzing (1) their occupations, (2) the methods they use in illegal border crossings and (3) distinct features of history, culture and society of the emigration-intense regions using the example of Fujian Province.
The existence of the various perspectives on “snakeheads” seems closely related to three aspects: historical tendencies, the strong desire and social expectation to go abroad, and the unclear sense of the concepts of legal and illegal of members of society in the emigration-intense regions. It will be shown that a full understanding of their social position is only possible through understanding those distinct features of history, culture and society, thus suggesting that effectively reducing irregular migration in long term can most likely only be accomplished by understanding and reshaping these cultural practices and
educating society, not only by reinforcing legal pressure.

Keywords: “snakehead”, shetou, 蛇头, irregular migration, illegal migration, social position, social perspective, emigration-intese regions, Fujian},
  author       = {Yen, Emmy},
  keyword      = {Keywords: “snakehead”,shetou,蛇头,irregular migration,illegal migration,social position,social perspective,emigration-intese regions,Fujian 关键词:蛇头,人蛇,偷渡,非法移民,偷渡案例,社会地位,社会观点,地域文化,福建省},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Illegal Migration in China: Social Perspectives on Modern “Snakeheads”},
  year         = {2013},
}