The social construction of female sexuality in the context of Hong Kong

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The social construction of female sexuality in the context of Hong Kong


Author: Cheung, Choi-wan
Title: The social construction of female sexuality in the context of Hong Kong
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2001
Subject: Women -- Sexual behavior
Women -- China -- Hong Kong
Sex -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: iii, 222 p. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: This is a research to study the social construction of female sexuality in the context of Hong Kong. This research is an exploration of the subjective experience of individual women and the emphasis is on understanding their experience as emerging from given social norms and power relations. Specifically, this research aims at exploring: 1. the experience of a group of Hong Kong women in their practice of sexiness, premarital sex and sexual negotiation; 2. their actions and response to the power relations in which the above-mentioned practices take place. 3. how they are subjected to and how they resist social norms and discourses related to sex, femininity and heterosexuality; 4. their articulation of their sexuality in relation to their gender identity; This study was undertaken by analysing the practice and articulation of ten Hong Kong Chinese women of, first, the discourse of sexiness; second, sexual norms related to premarital sex; and third, the practice of sexual negotiation. Data have been collected through indepth interviews with the respondents on their personal practice, their articulation of social discourses and norms related with sexuality; and their articulation of their own practice. This study disputes radical feminist analysis of male power that conceives power as concentrated in the hands of a group of people (which in this case is men) and as being imposed on the individuals. It also challenges radical feminists' understanding of the individual woman's practice as the internalisation of subordination or a direct reflection of institutional power. Drawing on Foucault's concepts of govemmentality of power and practice, this study explores the practice of the respondents as expressing given social discourses and also reflecting the varied response of the respondents to given social discourses. The practice of the respondents was therefore understood as both their subjection and their resistance to given power relations. Although the study shows that the respondents subscribe to varied aspects of given sexual norms and social discourse of female sexuality, it also demonstrates that individual women take part actively in constituting their sexuality as subjects who think and act. In this process, they also take part in changing the sexual norms in the larger society.

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