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Doing Families In Hong Kong: Strategy, Morality And Emotion

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Chapter Summary

The paper presented in this chapter reports on the findings of in-depth case interviews conducted in 2005 and 2006 with individuals from 40 families. It analyzes their acts and thoughts from a theoretical vantage point that stresses the 'contingent' and 'achieved' nature of family lives. Different ways of 'doing families' in Hong Kong are discussed here. The paper studies the processes, reasoning and outcomes of uncoupling in familial practices in Hong Kong today. The notion of uncoupling highlights the fact that conventional notions of marriage and family are currently being re-examined by ordinary people. Uncoupling is sometimes brought about by the fact that the prevalent family script is not of one piece. It is a mix of contradictory elements demanding users to make adjustments of their own. Uncoupling is also encouraged by strategic reactions to tangible pressures brought by social and economic restructuring.

Keywords: doing families; economic restructuring; family uncoupling; Hong Kong; marriage



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