Organizing whiteness: gender, nationality and subjectivity in post-colonial Hong Kong
[in special issue: Gender & Ethnicity]
Gender, Work & Organization, 17, (3), . (doi:10.1111/j.1468-0432.2008.00407.x).
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This article looks at the negotiation and construction of new white subjectivities in the changing global workplace of Hong Kong. It explores how recent changes in the social and political landscape are being accompanied by complex transformations of work and working identities. Drawing on research conducted with white expatriates in the period since the return to Chinese rule in 1997, it reveals that whiteness, Britishness and gender are simultaneously both critical and unstable concepts that affect the ways in which these changing working identities are being managed and performed. The article explores interviews with a selection of British expatriates working in different contexts and identifies the key discourses that they draw upon as resources to position themselves as they talk about their working lives. These show that, while the colonial heritage is still evident, the interplay between global and local discourses and the formation of white, gendered subjectivities means that spaces are being created to renegotiate the established privileges and forms of entitlement on which work relationships have hitherto been based.
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