Doing family, contesting gender and expanding affinity: Family practices of married women in Hong Kong

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6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite rapid social and economic changes, the persistence of gender inequalities in the conventional nuclear family remains puzzling. It seems unlikely that women will contest gender inequalities if they have accepted the ideology of separate spheres or if they regard mothering and care giving as integral to their feminine identity. However, this article re-examines these issues by analysing the family practices of 23 married Chinese women. It argues that how and why women 'do gender' have to be understood along with their family circumstances and their broader social contexts. It also reveals how women in unhappy marriages have developed creative strategies to subvert the needs and authority of their husbands and de-centre the nuclear family as their sole source of care and support. The article contributes to the discussion by unfolding the complexity, fluidity and cultural specificity of practices, agency and change. Copyright © 2012 The Policy Pres.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-41
JournalFamilies, Relationships and Societies
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

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Hong Kong
nuclear family
gender
economic change
husband
persistence
social change
ideology
marriage

Citation

Chan, A. K.-w. (2012). Doing family, contesting gender and expanding affinity: Family practices of married women in Hong Kong. Families, Relationships and Societies, 1(1), 25-41.

Keywords

  • Family practices
  • Doing gender
  • Chinese culture
  • Married women
  • Ideology of separate spheres