Hong Kong Lesbian Partners in the Making of Their Own Families

  • Day Wong


This chapter adopts the theoretical approach of social constructionism and considers family to be a human product rather than manifestation of any inherent or transhistorical essences. Specifically, it explores the meaning-making processes of lesbian couples who consider themselves family, despite being shut out of wedlock in Hong Kong. The first section critically reviews the family studies in Hong Kong, and it will highlight same-sex partnerships as a missing part of family diversity. In what follows, I shall discuss the findings of a qualitative study based on biographical interviews with 10 lesbians who identified their same-sex partners as family members. It is found that, unlike the “lesbaby boom” in the West during the 1980s, the making of family by Hong Kong lesbians is not so much associated with the plan to have children. Rather, they articulate and experience the same-sex relationships as family along three major axes: affirmation of commitment, provision of care, and integration with blood families. This study shows the interaction and interdependence between agency and structure, and argues that Hong Kong lesbian couples are active agents who borrow and sometimes even go beyond the rules of heterosexual relationships in constructing a new social reality—same-sex family—for themselves.


Heterosexual Couple Lesbian Couple LGBT Community Couple Family Lesbian Partner 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyHong Kong Baptist UniversityKowloon TongHong Kong

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