The Moral Dilemmas of Return Visits

Ellen Oxfeld

in Drink Water, but Remember the Source

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780520260948
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945876 | DOI:
The Moral Dilemmas of Return Visits

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This chapter examines the return visits of these overseas relations and explores the implications of these visits for an understanding of villagers' ideas about obligation in morality. The chapter also examines the moral dilemmas that return visits can engender. While only eleven percent of Moonshadow Pond families have an overseas Chinese connection, their impact is felt in many ways: through the fanfare that may accompany their visits, the donations they may give to local projects, and through the way villagers deal with the differences between those families who do have such connections and those who do not. In the anthropological literature on China, particularly on southeast China, a number of ethnographies have already investigated the connections between emigrants and their native villages. Many of these works focus not only upon the economic impact of emigration, remittances, and investments by overseas kin, but also on the impact of return upon local communities.

Keywords: return visits; overseas; obligation; morality; dilemmas; Moonshadow Pond; China; emigration; remittances; investments

Chapter.  8362 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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