Being-in Australia: Vietnamese Skilled Migrants’ Relocating Experiences

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Dr. Chi Hong Nguyen


By interviewing 15 Vietnamese two-step migrants living in Australia under a Heideggerian perspective, this paper explores how they experience transnational mobilities through their relocation. This study found that these migrants are not simply located in space, but they experience how they live their lives in space with familiarity and unfamiliarity. They sometimes feel not-at-home with what they think they do in everyday life. When they feel not-at-home with some of their interactions with the world, they turn to what they know and often do, or remain being-not-at-home. Their being-in a place leads to constraints and open-ended possibilities for their spatio-temporal existence. The Heideggerian notion of being-in sheds light on understanding migrants’ embeddedness in multiple spaces and times. Their experiences suggest that entwinement with the world unfolds possibilities and constraints for their transitions. The understanding of migrants’ entwinement with the world helps extend the conventional conceptualization of migration as a linear trajectory.

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