Roundtable Synergy Books


Lau Hoi-leung: Introduction to GAY SPECIFICITY IN HONG KONG

Gay Specificity in Hong Kong

In this book, Mr. Lau Hoi-leung presents a pioneering ethnographic study on how the roles and perceptions of gay men are constructed in Hong Kong.

Through his participant-observation, Lau discovers the mechanisms in which sissy gay men experience “double marginalization” in the Hong Kong society in general and in the gay community in particular.

By reading this ethnographic work, readers can understand the internal dynamics and interactions of the present Hong Kong gay community, which is fundamental to explore the possibility in the creation of a discrimination-free social environment.

To seek for a Pluralistic and Discrimination-free Society.

(This book is based on a thesis submitted to Tha Chinese University of Hong Kong for the author’s research master degree in Sociology in 2004)

Research background:

The presence of “homosexuality” (or same-sex desire) across different societies and cultures may be regarded as a sociological phenomenon in its own right.  While the sociology of deviance, as the classical sociological paradigm on homosexuality, put homosexuality within a “normality/deviance” framework (Connell 1992:737), the field has assimilated new theoretical currents over the past few decades.  Accordingly, sociological discourses on homosexuality have shifted considerably from the debate on essentialism and social constructionism to that of the etiology of homosexuality.  Instead of being concerned with whether people are born or socialized as gay or lesbian, now the question to ask is what we may choose to do with our bodies and desires (Probyn 1997:142).  According to Connell (1992), there are four major foci in studying homosexuality, with gay men as the most potentially rewarding field of study[1].  Nardi (2002), on the other hand, claims that GLBTQ[2] has received relatively little attention in sociological discourses.  Study of GLBTQ, however, may contribute to our knowledge of their sexual desire, identity construction, maintenance of relationships, the legitimation of their communities (Risman and Schwartz 1988:143-144), and the interaction between these marginal groups and the mainstream society.  In this way, the phenomenon of homosexuality may constitute a fruitful starting point for the understanding of the complex social dynamics of human sexuality in general (Nardi 2002:53).

This research is a study on the specific culture of the gay community in Hong Kong.  Mainstream academic research on Hong Kong gay community has mostly focused on the construction and formation of gay identity and gay culture especially under the postcolonial context of Hong Kong (Ho 1995; Zhou 1997; Chou 2000; Jones 2000; Ho and Tsang 2000; Kong 2002).  By adopting narrative analysis of the life histories of gay men, the research focus has been placed upon their self-recognition of gay identity, closet practices[3], coming out process, and sexual and intimate relationship (Zhou, Mai and Jiang 1995; Zhou 1996).  In response to such mainstream agenda, this study purposes to fruitfully explore two relatively neglected empirical phenomena[4] concerning Hong Kong gay community.  By using a qualitative research method, I would like to pinpoint the specific culture generating from these two under-explored phenomena among Hong Kong gay community, which I would conceptualize as “gay specificity”.  It is hoped that this may contribute to the paradigm shift in the study of homosexuality or other non-normative sexualities in Hong Kong sociological discourses, i.e. what and how sexual nonconformists actually do with their own bodies and desires.

[1] The four foci refer to the construction of masculinity in the lives of gay men; the construction of sexuality and its relationship to identity and subculture; the interplay between heterosexual and homosexual masculinities; and the experience of change in gender relations (Connell 1992:738).

[2] GLBTQ is the abbreviation of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer.

[3] Closet practices refer to the repressive strategies that are adopted to maintain a norm of heterosexuality by excluding homosexuality from public life (Seidman, Meeks, and Traschen 1999:11).

[4] The two empirical phenomena are gay role division and double marginalization of sissy gay men in the Hong Kong gay community, which will be discussed in details.



在下方填入你的資料或按右方圖示以社群網站登入: Logo

您的留言將使用 帳號。 登出 / 變更 )

Twitter picture

您的留言將使用 Twitter 帳號。 登出 / 變更 )


您的留言將使用 Facebook 帳號。 登出 / 變更 )

Google+ photo

您的留言將使用 Google+ 帳號。 登出 / 變更 )

連結到 %s


This entry was posted on 05/08/2010 by in Read Online and tagged , .
%d 位部落客按了讚: