How to Evade States and Slip Past Borders: Lessons from Traders, Overstayers, and Asylum Seekers in Hong Kong and China
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AbstractThis paper analyzes how traders, overstayers, and asylum seekers in Hong Kong and south China experience and evade the state. It does this by utilizing two of Ananya Roy's key ideas-the organizational logic of informality, and "unmapping" as an informalization of the state. It considers the organizational logic of informality by examining the individual strategies followed by traders, overstayers, and asylum seekers in their conduct of low-end globalization. These strategies include laying low beneath the notice of the state, using one's social networks and cultural capital in one's evaluation of uncertain information, and engaging in self-presentation that remains carefully concealed. The paper applies Roy's concept of unmapping to the governments of Hong Kong and China in their informalization of state control over immigration and police, rendering the enforcement of low-priority laws a matter of the individual discretion of state agents. However, even if the state does not usually act, it could act, making the lives and livelihoods of these immigrants particularly uncertain. This paper shows how Roy's ideas may be applied to a realm of analysis far from her original purview. [traders, overstayers, asylum seekers, low-end globalization, Hong Kong, China] ? 2014 by the American Anthropological Association.
All Author(s) ListMathews G., Lin D., Yang Y.
Journal nameCity and Society
Year2014
Month1
Day1
Volume Number26
Issue Number2
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
Place of PublicationUnited States
Pages217 - 238
ISSN0893-0465
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

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