Talking Politics, Performing Masculinities: Stories of Hong Kong Men Before and After the Umbrella Movement
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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)
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