Aspirational Migration: The Case of Chinese Birth Tourism in the U.S.
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The ways in which individuals navigate the globe today complicates previous conceptualizations of migration and mobility. Once such mode of contemporary movement which challenges scholars is known as "birth tourism." This research considers birth tourism to be a form of "lifestyle migration," which I label aspirational migration. By analyzing the motivations which drive many parents to give birth abroad, I shed light on the complex and risky process, which involves a host of players, including family, friends, and a global birth tourism infrastructure. Through this drawn-out process, which begins well before the decision to give birth abroad and continues into the distant future, I argue that birth tourists and their foreign-born children become aspirational migrants and acquire cosmopolitan capital.