Dr. Beatrice Zani 

Dr. Beatrice Zani 

Academic title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Department: East Asian Studies

Office: 261

Email address: beatrice.zani [at] mcgill.ca



Beatrice is a sociologist, postdoctoral research fellow in Taiwan Studies at McGill University, Department of East-Asian Studies. Previously, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Tübingen (Germany) and lecturer at Sciences Po Lyon (France). Beatrice received her Ph.D in sociology from Lyon University (December 2019). She is also research associate at the Centre for Taiwan Studies (University of California, Santa Barbara), the European Research Centre on Contemporary Taiwan (ERCCT, Tuebingen University), at TRIANGLE (ENS Lyon, France), at the Migration, Diaspora and Exile Research Centre (MIDEX- UCLan, UK), and at the Institut Convergences Migrations (Paris, France). She is also executive board member of the European Association of Taiwan Studies (EATS) and of the network ‘Migration’ of the French Sociological Association (AFS).

Her ongoing research looks at the link between migration, emotion and digital platforms in the making of capitalism through the case study of migrant maritime labour and digital entrepreneurship in the shipping and logistics infrastructures in China, Taiwan and Jinmen.

Her first monograph Women Migrants in Southern China and in Taiwan. Mobilities, Digital Economies and Emotions (Routledge, 2021) follows the social life of an orange, fluorescent bra to trace the migratory paths, biographical experiences and entrepreneurial practices of Chinese migrant women who move from the countryside to the city, their marriage-migration to Taiwan and, eventually, re-migration to China post-divorce. Based on multi-sited ethnographic research in China and in Taiwan, including 140 biographical interviews, her work considers the development of digital social networks, solidarity practices, and e-entrepreneurship by women to undo a condition of subalternity along their multiple mobilities. With close attention to the link between migration, emotion and digital worlds, the book illuminates the making of novel digital, commercial, and emotional geographies of interconnection between China and Taiwan, and the multiple forms that globalisation can take.




(2021). Women Migrants in Southern China and in Taiwan. Mobilities, digital economies and emotions. Abington and New York: Routledge.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

(2022). Orange bras, gendered petit capitalism and e-entrepreneurs. On the backroads of globalisation between China and Taiwan. Globalizations. DOI: 10.1080/14747731.2022.2082098

(2022). Liaisons troubles en maisons closes. Faire et défaire des complicités dans un salon de massages de Taipei [Risky relationships in a whorehouse. Doing and undoing complicity within a massage centre in Taipei]. Terrain 77 : 301–317

(2022). L’e-entrepreneuriat des cyberfamilles transnationales migrantes. Le cas des femmes chinoises à Montreal [Transnational migrant cyberfamilies’ e-entrepreneurship. Case study of Chinese women in Montreal]. Hommes et migrations 1337 (2): 35–43. DOI: 10.4000/hommesmigrations.13920

(2021). Digital Entrepreneurship. E-commerce among Chinese Marriage-Migrant Women in Taiwan. Journal of Chinese Overseas 17(2): 265–292. DOI: 10.1163/17932548-12341445.

(2021). Shall WeChat? Switching between online and offline ethnography. Bulletin of Methodological Sociology 152(1) : 52–75. DOI : 10.1177/07591063211040229 (i English and in French)

(2021). Pattes de poulet, colis cachés et entrepreneures connectées. Migration et entrepreneuriat digital entre Chine et Taiwan. Sociologie du travail 63(3). DOI : 10.4000/sdt.39634

(with G. Schubert, S. Rigger, S.S. Lin, and J.-R. Chen, 2021). Delimiting ‘Cross-Strait Studies’ : Kua’an (跨岸) vs. Liang’an (兩岸). International Journal of Taiwan Studies 4 (1): 163–191. DOI: 10.1163/24688800-20201193

(with L. Momesso, 2021). Can the subaltern feel? An ethnography of migration, subalternity and emotion. Emotion, Space and Society 39. DOI: 10.1016/j.emospa.2021.100786

(2020). Trado Ergo Sum. Migranti cinesi, piattaforme digitali ed economie multipolari sulle strade secondarie della globalizzazione. Quaderni di sociologia 82 (3): 43–64. DOI : 10.4000/qds.3676

(2020). WeChat We Sell We Feel. Chinese Migrant Women’s Emotional Petit Capitalism. International Journal of Cultural Studies 23(5): 803–820. DOI: 10.1177/1367877920923360

(2020). In-between. Re-migration, Orbital Mobilities and Emotional Circulations of Chinese Women from Taiwan back to China. Asian Pacific Viewpoint 61(3): 494–508. DOI : 10.1111/apv.12254

(2018). Gendered Transnational Ties and Multipolar Economies: Chinese Migrant Women WeChat Commerce in Taiwan. International Migration 57 (4): 232–246. DOI: 10.1111/imig.12526

(2018). Trapped in Migration. Migratory Careers and Entrepreneurial Creativity of Chinese Migrant Women in Taiwan. China Perspectives 2018 (1–2): 75–85 (English and French). DOI: 10.4000/chinaperspectives.7776

Book Chapters

2023. From reproductive labour to e-entrepreneurship, from wife and mother to a ‘connected entrepreneur’. Case study from Chinese marriage-migrants in Taiwan’. In The Gender of Borders, edited by Adelina Miranda, Jane Friedman, Nina Sarahoui and Elsa Tyszler, pp. 56-74. London: Routledge

2022. Rise of Capitalism and Chinese Women’s Internal and Cross-Border Migrations 1980-2020: A Gender Study. In: A. Parent, A. Le Riche, L. Zhang (eds), Institutional Change and China Capitalism, pp. 163–213 (chapter 7). London: World Scientific Publishing

2021. Un-breaking familial ties and affectional bonds in China. In: Laurence Roulleau-Berger and Liu Yuzhao (eds). Sociology of Migration and Post Western Theory, pp. 65–71. Lyon and Paris: ENS Editions


Research awards

Her research has been recently awarded: the Mobility Prize by the Forum Mobile Lives (2021); the Lyon 2 University Dissertation Award (2021), and the Young Author Award by the journal Sociology of Work (2021), the Christian Ricourt Prize for the Young Scholar in Taiwan Studies (2017), and the Award for Research on Human Rights (Lyon, 2016).

Research interests

Sociology of migration, economic sociology, anthropology of labor, sociology of emotion; Taiwan studies and globalization studies; women migrants in China and in Taiwan; digital worlds and digital entrepreneurship, migration and emotion, multi-sited ethnography, virtual ethnography, and visual methods.

Research Areas:

China, Taiwan

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