Vietnamese migrants in small boats at sea

Vietnamese Trajectories: negotiating refuge and belonging through forced migrations

Thursday 26th January 2017, 6.00 - 7.30pm; Venue: Room 9.04, Tower 2 (TW2)
Speaker: Stephen James; Chair: Dr Nick Long

Joining other ‘boat people’ following the Vietnam War with the US, Chinese Vietnamese refugees made up the majority of more than 200,000 Vietnamese nationals who landed in Hong Kong harbour over two decades. Labelled ‘Chinese’ by the Vietnamese but considered ‘Vietnamese’ by Hong Kong Chinese authorities, many of these refugees were refused asylum and forced to migrate once again in 1997 when 30,000 Vietnamese were airlifted to the UK.

Through experiences of two forced migrations, many Vietnamese find themselves challenging versions of self-identity. Focusing on the 1.5 generation who were born in Vietnam but migrated with their parents at a young age to the UK, this seminar highlights serial migrants through their varied forced journeys across the globe and into local and transnational group identities. Insights gained from this project can inform current debates on forced migration in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. 

Download and listen to the podcast here



Stephen James is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside. He was a Visiting Research Student at LSE SEAC during summer 2016, interviewing Vietnamese refugees who had settled down in London.



Nick Long is Associate of LSE SEAC and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at LSE.