Date: Friday, February 10, 2023 7:00 PM
Location: Temple University, Japan Campus (Access) 1-14-29 Taishido, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 154-0004



  • Robert Dujarric, ICAS Co-Director


Looking at young Europeans who migrated to Singapore and Tokyo, this book sheds light on early-career migration and on the changing outlook of Japan and Singapore. We see how migration to Asian business centres has become a way of distinction and an alternative way of middle-class reproduction for young Europeans. It also reveals how perceived insecurities in the crisis-ridden EU result in these migrants’ migration or prolonged stays in Asia. This pioneering work makes the case for EU citizens’ aspired lifestyles and professional employment that is no longer only attainable in Europe or the West. Tokyo and Singapore have become their temporary homes. Having spent the crucial first life stage of ‘full’ adulthood and economic independence in Asia, the migrants have established grounds for a middle-class lifestyle that they might not be able to replicate back home. Japan’s and Singapore’s changing migration regimes, however, pose different barriers to the migrants, which results in ambiguous feelings towards their host societies.

Date & Time:

Friday, February 10, 2023 19:00-20:30 (Tokyo)


Temple University Japan Campus, Room 312


Registration is not required ( with any questions or reply to this email).


This event is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS) and the German Institute for Japanese Studies Tokyo (DIJ).

Note: All ICAS events are held in English, open to the public, and admission is free unless otherwise noted.


Helena Hof

University of Zurich / Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

Helena Hof is Senior Research and Teaching Fellow at the University of Zurich and a Research Fellow at the Socio-Cultural Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. Helena also completed her PhD at Waseda. Her work lies at the nexus of mobility studies, the sociology of work, skilled and middle class migration, gender, ethnicity and race, and global cities and entrepreneurship. After completing a project on the career and social mobility of Europeans in Tokyo and Singapore she is currently part of a German government-funded collaborative project on the role of skills in labor migration processes in Asia, within which Helena examines foreign entrepreneurs in Tokyo’s and Singapore. Helena holds guest researcher affiliations with Waseda's Institute of Asian Migrations in Tokyo and the Asia Research Institute’s Migration Cluster at the National University of Singapore and has been a fellow at the Center for Metropolitan Studies at the University of Sao Paulo (USP).

She is book reviews editor of the academic journal Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration. Some of her most recent publications include the monograph The EU Migrant Generation in Asia. Middle-Class Aspirations in Asian Global Cities (2022, Bristol University Press), EU migrant retention and the temporalities of migrant staying: A new conceptual framework (with Simon Pemberton and Emilia Pietka-Nykaza, 2021, Comparative Migration Studies), and Intersections of Race and Skills in European Migration to Asia: Between White Cultural Capital and ‘Passive Whiteness’ (Ethnic and Racial Studies).

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