My own business, not my children’s: Negotiating funeral rites and the mobility juncture among Chinese immigrants in Melbourne

Date/Time: Thu 12 Oct / 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Location: Monash University, Room N402, (Menzies Building) 20 Chancellors Walk, Clayton Campus

School of Social Sciences (SoSS)

Sociologists @ Monash Seminar

My own business, not my children’s: Negotiating funeral rites and the mobility juncture among Chinese immigrants in Melbourne

The paper analyses the experiences of Chinese immigrants relating to funeral rites in Melbourne. It considers how their transnational identities and life experiences in a Western context affect their approaches and attitudes towards death and funeral arrangements. These processes create a “mobility juncture” to engrain their legacy and communicate with future generations. We interviewed 36 Chinese immigrants and five funeral professionals. Our data showed that the participants were open to discussing death and funeral preparation. The socio-economically independent life style in the Australian context has brought about changes to their perception and preparation of their final journey. Yet, the significance of the graveyard as a point of communication between the past and the present/future remains. Strong incentives for preparing their own funeral included a wish to ease the burden for their children and a lack of confidence in their children’s knowledge of Chinese funeral rites. Filial piety and family values remain significant, but they continue to undergo changes in the Australian context.

Please RSVP by Monday 9th October to

For more information, please contact Helen on 9905 5243.


Associate Prof Gil-Soo Han is in Communications and Media Studies. Gil’s most recent work relates to migrant communities in Australia regarding their identities, religion and health, and multiculturalism and funeral rites in Korea. He has published many journal articles and is the author of six books including a forthcoming publication: Funeral Rites in Contemporary Korea: The Business of Death (Springer).

Dr Helen Forbes-Mewett is in the School of Social Sciences. Helen’s interdisciplinary research focuses on human security, migration, cultural diversity and social cohesion. Her latest book – The New Security: Individual, community and cultural experiences – will be published in 2018 by Palgrave Macmillan. Helen has recently been appointed to the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Regional Advisory Council.

Dr Wilfred Yang Wang is a digital media researcher in Communications and Media Studies. Wilfred’s research interests include digital geographies, migrant Internet, and digital Asia. His forthcoming book (2019) examines the digital culture and practices of place-making in urban China (Rowman & Littlefield International).

Thursday 12th October

1:00pm – 2:00pm

N402, Menzies Building
20 Chancellors Walk
Clayton Campus

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