Talking Politics, Performing Masculinities: Stories of Hong Kong Men Before and After the Umbrella Movement
- 523 Downloads
The present paper addresses the under-explored issue of the role of politics in the construction of masculinity, focusing specifically on political Confucianism and men’s doing of gender in the context of Hong Kong’s recent turbulent history. Between 2014 and 2016 we conducted a series of paired interviews and focus groups with 10 Hong Kong men from differing social backgrounds. Through cooperative grounded inquiry, we demonstrate how political events and figures provided points of reference for these men in the construction and performance of masculinities. We emphasize the importance of Confucian hierarchical harmony to gender performance, elaborating three cultural logics—respectability, responsibility, and romance—underpinning the doing of Hong Kong masculinities. We thereby shed light on the mutual constitution of personal and political selves and how men define and redefine masculine ideals in times of political turbulence.
KeywordsMasculinities Umbrella movement Confucianism Gender Social movements
The research reported in this paper was supported by the University Grants Committee of the Research Grants Council under a General Research Fund entitled “Be a man!: Conceptualizing Hong Kong Chinese men’s strategies of sexual choices” (HKU 744812H).
We are grateful for the participation of the respondents and the assistance of Professor Veronica Pearson, Mr. Chi Kwok, and our video team at an early stage of the project.
Compliance with Ethical Standard
The research was funded by University Grants Committee of the Research Grant Council under General Research Fund. There are no conflicts between the research funding and the findings in this paper. All interviewees were carefully informed and gave informed consent to the researchers before the commencement of the project. Ethical approval was obtained through the host university of the first author. (Reference EA: 130212)
- Banerjee, S. (2012). Make me a man: Masculinity, Hinduism and nationalism in India. New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
- Bell, D. (2008). China’s new Confucianism: Politics and everyday life in a changing society. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Collier, A., & Wyer, M. (2016). Researching reflexively with patients and families: Two studies using video-reflexive ethnography to collaborate with patients and families in patient safety research. Qualitative Health Research, 26(7), 979–993. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732315618937.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Connell, R. W. (1995). Masculinities. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
- Connell, R. (2005). Masculinities (2nd ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Dudink, S., Hagemann, K., & Clark, A. (Eds.). (2012). Representing masculinity: Male citizenship in modern western culture. London: Palgrave.Google Scholar
- Evans, H. (1997). Women and sexuality in China. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
- Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. London: Weidenfield & Nicolson.Google Scholar
- Heron, J. (1996). Co-operative inquiry: Research into the human condition. London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Ho, P. S. Y. (2012). Hong Kong men’s stories of intra-national cross border romances. Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development, 22(3), 176–186. https://doi.org.eproxy2.lib.hku.hk/10.1080/02185385.2012.691717.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ho, P. S. Y. (2014). An embarrassment of riches: Good men behaving badly in Hong Kong. In D.S. Davis and S.L. Friedman (Eds), Wives, husbands and lovers: Marriage and sexuality in Hong Hong, Taiwan and urban China (pp. 165-188). Stanford: Stanford University press/Hong Hong: Hong Kong university press.Google Scholar
- Hong Kong Jockey Club Center for Suicide Research and Prevention. (2014). Retrieved from http://crsp.hku.hk/statistics accessed .
- Hua, C. Y. (2014). Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying’s regular press conference on September 30, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/t1197147.shtml.
- Jiang, Q. (2013). A Confucian constitutional order: How China’s ancient past can shape its political future. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Kaeding, M. (2014). Challenging Hongkongisation: The role of Taiwan’s social movements and perceptions of post-handover Hong Kong. Taiwan in Comparative Perspective, 5, 120–133.Google Scholar
- Kimmel, M. (2005). The gender of desire: Essays on male sexuality. New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
- Kleinman, A., Yan, Y., Jun, J., Lee, S., Zhang, E., Pan, T., … Guo, J. (Eds.). (2011). Deep China: The moral life of the person: What anthropology and psychiatry tell us about China today. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Leung, K., & Ip, O. (2007). Employee confidence, job satisfaction and age discrimination survey. Hong Kong: Department of Management, City University of Hong Kong.Google Scholar
- Louie, K. (2002). Theorising Chinese masculinity: Society and gender in China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Mead, G. H. (1934). Mind, self, and society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Mouffe, C. (2005). The return of the political. London: Verso.Google Scholar
- Osburg, J. (2013). Anxious wealth: Money and morality among China’s new rich. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- Rofel, L. (2007). Desiring China: Experiments in neoliberalism, sexuality, and public culture. Durham: Duke University Press. https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822389903.
- Strier, R. (2014). Fatherhood in the context of political violence. Men and Masculinities, 9, 5–22.Google Scholar
- Uretsky, E. (2016). Occupational hazards: Sex, business, and HIV in post-Mao China. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- World Health Organization. (2014). Preventing suicide: A global perspective. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mental_health/suicide-prevention/world_report_2014/en/.
- Yuval-Davis, N. (1997). Gender and nation. London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Zeng, J. (2016). Feminism and genesis of the citizen intelligentsia in China. Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press.Google Scholar