School of Social and Political Science

Candice Hiu Yan Andrade (formerly known as Hiu Yan Yu)

Job Title

PhD title: Contending with Space and Time: The Navigation of Class, Marriage and Identity by Chinese Temporary Migrants in the UK


City (Address)


Country (Address)



This thesis examines the complex trajectories of young middle-class temporary migrants from mainland China and Hong Kong to the UK, including their class-related aspirations and experiences of multiple transitions across marital and immigration statuses. Drawing on data from in-depth qualitative interviews, this thesis reveals that the ways in which migrants seek to build capital or achieve goals are highly gendered. It focuses on marriage as a migration and class strategy utilised primarily by female migrants.

The research findings demonstrate that the British visa regime, the institution of marriage, and the Chinese state-sponsored gender discourse of sheng nu (“leftover women”) together shape migrant women’s desire for, timing of, and decisions relating to marriage and family formation. Moreover, this research advances empirical understanding of the intersections between institutional, biographical, and everyday timescales (Robertson 2018) in producing specific experiences for migrants. This study examines how the temporal dynamics of migration have a fundamental effect on the choices available to middling migrants in employment and life transitions, shaping the rhythms of romantic relationships, and accelerating discussions about marriage and the future with their partner. This thesis further argues that young migrant women’s negotiations of marriage and class status are related to the modern notion of Chinese feminine respectability, which requires them to fulfil familial, societal, and self-imposed expectations to become a respectable middle-class individual and family member.

About me

PhD in Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh (VIVA passed Feb 2020; Degree completed July 2020)

Master’s Degree of Philosophy in Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Scholarship: Fully funded by Postgraduate Stipend)

Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology (First Class Honours), Minor in Cultural Heritage Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Work experience at University of Edinburgh:

October 2020 - Now Tutor, Department of Social Anthropology

Social Anthropology 1A: The Life Course (Course led by Dr Jessica Cooper)

January 2017 - May 2018 Tutor, Department of Social Anthropology

Social Anthropology 1B: Anthropology Matters (Course led by Dr Lucy Lowe)

February 2016 – August 2018 Social Media Assistant, Citizenship, Nations and Migration Network (CNaM Network)

Work experience at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

August 2011 – July 2013 Tutor, Department of Anthropology, CUHK

  1. Gender and Culture (Course led by Prof. Maria Tam)
  2. Anthropology of Body, Love and Emotions (Course led by Dr. Keping Wu)
  3. Understanding Anthropology (Course led by Prof. Sidney Chin Hung Cheung)
  4. Humans and Culture (Course led by Prof. Gordon Mathews)


Candice Hiu Yan Andrade. 2020. "Negotiating the modalities of time – individual and institutional, migratory and marital: A temporal ‘double-bind’ for Chinese migrant women in the UK", Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2020.1839399.

Candice Hiu-Yan Yu. 2018. "Permanence pending: How young Chinese temporary migrants hope to stay in the UK", International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, 4(3): 179-195. DOI: 10.1504/IJMBS.2018.10015043.

Yu, Hiu-Yan. 2013. Between Constraint and Autonomy: How Young White-Collar Women in Hong Kong Express Their Sexuality. M.Phil. thesis of Graduate School, Division of Anthropology, Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Yu, Hiu Yan. 2011. “Imagination of the Self and the Other: Inter-ethnic Attitudes between Filipino Domestic Helpers and their Employers after the Manila Hostage Crisis”. Hong Kong Anthropologist. Volume 5. At

Academic conferences

18 – 21 September 2018
Presenter – ASA 18 Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth Annual Conference - Sociality, Matter, and the Imagination: Re-Creating Anthropology at the University of Oxford

2 – 4 July 2018
Presenter – 15th IMISCOE Annual Conference – Europe, Migration and the Mediterranean: Human Mobilities and Intercultural Challenges at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

30 October – 1 November 2017
Presenter – Manchester Migration Lab: World on the Move: Migration, Societies and Change at the University of Manchester, Manchester

5 – 7 July 2017
Presenter – LOVA International Conference 2017 organised by Netherlands Association for Gender Studies and Feminist Anthropology – Ethnographies of Gender and Mobility at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

28 – 30 June 2017
Presenter – 14th IMISCOE Annual Conference – Migration, Diversity and the City at Erasmus University, Rotterdam

20 – 23 July 2016
Presenter – 14th EASA Biennial Conference on Anthropological Legacies and Human Futures organised by European Association of Social Anthropologists at the University of Milano-Bicocca.

15 – 16 June 2016
Presenter – International Conference on Migration, Irregularisation and Activism: Challenging Contemporary Border Regimes, Racism and Subordination at Malmö University.

12 November 2015
Presenter – Intimacies Across Asia organised by the Sussex Asia Center, School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex.

21 – 23 September 2012
Presenter – The Second Global Conference, Beauty: Exploring Critical Issues organised by Inter-Disciplinary.Net at Mansfield College, University of Oxford.

Public Academic Talks

29 February 2012
Speaker – Anthropological talk presented on the topic of “The Manila Hostage Crisis and Hong Kong Inter-ethnic Relations”, organised by the Hong Kong Anthropological Society at Hong Kong Museum of History, Lecture Hall, Ground Floor, 100 Chatham Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.

22 February 2012

Guest speaker – Radio interview on Morning Brew on the topic of “The Manila Hostage Crisis and Hong Kong Inter-ethnic Relations” at RTHK Broadcasting House, 30 Broadcast Drive, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong

Research interests

Research interests

China and East Asia, Hong Kong, Migration studies, anthropology of the middle class, gender, Student movements, skilled migrants, UK, Marriage and Intimate Relationships, time and temporality, marriage immigration, British visa system

Works within