Conditional spaces and infinite possibilities : Hong Kong lesbians and urban spatialities

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Conditional spaces and infinite possibilities : Hong Kong lesbians and urban spatialities

 

Author: Tang, Tse-shang Denise
Title: Conditional spaces and infinite possibilities : Hong Kong lesbians and urban spatialities
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2008
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Sociology, Urban -- China -- Hong Kong.
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: viii, 308 leaves ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2190027
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/3362
Abstract: Hong Kong lesbians have identified multiple spaces in an urbanized environment to assert their lesbian visibility and to negotiate lesbian identity politics. I define Hong Kong lesbians as self-identified women who have had significant intimate relationships with other women and who are living in Hong Kong. One maps her own spaces to survive, to live, to love and to gather one another for emotional well-being. Due to the density in population, the lack of physical land space and the Hong Kong's government high land-price policy, living conditions in Hong Kong do not offer much privacy for lesbians if they live with their families. As a result, Hong Kong lesbians often locate alternate spaces to develop support networks with other women. Some lesbians consider these spaces to include lesbian karaoke bars and cafes located in high-density areas such as Causeway Bay (Tung Lo Wan). Lesbian commercial spaces function as temporal sites of resistance for Hong Kong lesbians to validate their lesbian identities, to form social networks and to question their political subjectivities. Others might choose to reject the notion of lesbian spaces and instead assert their lesbian visibility along the line of everyday life, thereby disturbing the notion of heteronormativity within social worlds. They might have chosen to be who they are no matter where they are, albeit in spaces of intimacy, familial and acquaintance. Based on life history interviews with 30 lesbians living in Hong Kong, I attempt to map the complex relations between lesbian subjectivities and spatialities as they emerge, develop, interact and negotiate with each other in their everyday lives. Drawing on theories encompassing urban sociology, feminism, queer theory and cultural studies, I propose to understand Hong Kong lesbian culture through an analysis of spaces, in their multiplicities and ambiguous codings, in their formulas of resistance, and in their everyday affect on Hong Kong lesbians.

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