Chasing the American Dream in China

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Few studies have highlighted the stories of middle-class children of immigrants who move to their ancestral homelands—countries with which they share cultural ties but haven’t necessarily had direct contact. Chasing the American Dream in China addresses this gap by examining the lives of highly educated American-born Chinese (ABC) professionals who “return” to the People’s Republic of China to build their careers. Analyzing the motivations and experiences of these individuals deepens our knowledge about transnationalism among the second-generation as they grapple with complex issues of identity and societal belonging in the ethnic homeland. This book demonstrates how these professional migrants maneuver between countries and cultures to further their careers and maximize opportunities in the rapidly changing global economy. When used strategically, the versatile nature of their ethnic identities positions them as indispensable bridges between the global superpowers of China and the United States in their competition for global dominance.

“In this captivating book, Leslie Wang uncovers not only why children of migrants return to their ancestral lands and their surprising experiences abroad, but she also signals its implications for our global economy and international relations. Wang has shown migration studies a new direction to follow.”

Pawan Dhingra, author of Managing Multicultural Lives: Asian American Profesionals and the Challenge of Multiple Identities

“Leslie Wang’s skillful ethnography elucidates how Chinese Americans in China employ ‘strategic in-betweenness’ to maximize benefits in both their work and personal lives, resulting in a rich study that examines Chinese American racial, ethnic, and cultural belonging in a transnational context.”

Andrea Louie, author of Chineseness across Borders: Renegotiating Chinese Identities in China and the United States