Communication ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-14-2019


This dissertation explored the daily experiences of first-generation Chinese migrant women who study and/or work in universities and colleges in the United States of America. Drawing on previous scholarship on whiteness studies and Asian American gender and sexuality studies with femiqueer perspectives, the primary goal of this study was to gain a better understanding of these Chinese migrant women’s daily experiences and negotiations with power relations concerning race, gender, and sexuality, and to challenge the dominant perceptions and constructions of Chinese/Asian women. By analyzing their narratives of everyday experiences, I found that white heteronormative patriarchal ideologies have been globally promoted, normalized, and disseminated along with the internationalization of U.S. nationalism and imperialism. These ideologies instructed and influenced these Chinese women’s notions of race, gender, sexuality, and their transnational relations. These ideologies also otherized these women through their relational experiences with family, academia, and social life because of their race, gender, and sexuality. However, simultaneously, these women’s daily negotiations and engagement with power hierarchy and their survival in U.S. academia and the society reinforced, shaped, interrupted, and challenged the existing power hierarchy and the racial formation of Asian America.




whiteness; femiqueer; race, gender, and sexuality; Chinese migrant women; U.S. academia; transnationality

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Committee Member (Chair)

Shinsuke Eguchi

Second Committee Member

Ilia Rodríguez

Third Committee Member

Yea-Wen Chen

Fourth Committee Member

Myra Washington