Migrating identities: gender, whiteness and Britishness in post-colonial Hong Kong
Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 15, (1), . (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.
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