Migrating identities: gender, whiteness and Britishness in post-colonial Hong Kong

Leonard, Pauline (2008) Migrating identities: gender, whiteness and Britishness in post-colonial Hong Kong. Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 15, (1), 45-60. (doi:10.1080/09663690701817519).


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This paper explores the ways in which notions of nationality, whiteness and gender are drawn upon by British expatriate women in the construction and performance of their identities in post-colonial Hong Kong. A British colony since the mid-nineteenth century, Hong Kong was returned to China in the 1997 handover to become a 'Special Administrative Region'. Now, as the administrative workings of empire are receding, so too are the expectations about race and nationality which went with them. For the white British, the opportunities to reconfigure discourses and subjectivities of whiteness are there, although the findings of this research reveals the unevenness of take-up. The paper draws on a broad feminist post-structuralist approach to reveal the ways in which four different British women migrants position themselves in the changing landscape. The approach shows important patterns of difference and diversity between the women in the performances of gendered Britishness and whiteness, and in the extent to which these are used to redefine or challenge the memory of relations established through imperialism.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/09663690701817519
Additional Information:
ISSNs: 0966-369X (print)
1360-0524 (electronic)
Keywords: migration, expatriate, whiteness, british hong kong
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Sociology and Social Policy
ePrint ID: 47481
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2007
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:23
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/47481

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