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Chinese Women and the Cyberspace

Chinese Women and the Cyberspace

Edited by Khun Eng Kuah-Pearce
Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 276
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  • Book Info
    Chinese Women and the Cyberspace
    Book Description:

    This volume examines how Chinese women negotiate the Internet as a research tool and a strategy for the acquisition of information, as well as for social networking purposes. Offering insight into the complicated creation of a female Chinese cybercommunity, Chinese Women and the Cyberspace discusses the impact of increasingly available Internet technology on the life and lifestyle of Chinese women-examining larger issues of how women become both masters of their electronic domain and the objects of exploitation in a faceless online world. University of Hong Kong. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-0140-3
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. 7-8)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. 9-10)
  5. 1 Introduction Locating Chinese Women in the Cyberspace
    (pp. 11-22)
    Khun Eng KUAH-PEARCE

    In the information galaxy, the cyberspace and the Internet have become an indispensable part of our daily routine. Those who have been touched by this technology have found it irresistible to refrain from using it, even if they are physically on the move. It is no wonder that with the advent of the wireless, tapping into cyberspace and surfing the Internet has intensified among all groups of people.

    In present day, the cyberspace and the Internet have become enmeshed into our daily routine and social experiences, so much so that they are not only confined to our working life but...


    • 2 Internet as Social Capital and Social Network Cyberactivity of Hong Kong and Shanghai Women
      (pp. 25-46)
      Khun Eng KUAH-PEARCE

      This is the age of globalization and digitalization, and we seem unable to escape from the pervasive influence of the two processes. Irrespective of whether we are at home, in the subway, on the bus, in shopping malls, schools or offices, our lives have become interconnected with the digital equipment that has brought us so close to one another. We do not seem to be able to divorce ourselves from such aids anymore, and if we did not possess any one of them, we surely would feel very lost, as we have become highly dependent on them for communication and...

    • 3 Agency and ICT among Singaporean-Chinese Women
      (pp. 47-64)
      Helen JOHNSON

      While enthusiasm for the social and economic potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the many countries that constitute ‘Asia’ is high, it has not led to access for a substantial number of people (Ang 2001; Castells 2001; Johnson 2003; Lee & Khatri 2003). Access to ICT in Asia is often limited to private individuals from the higher income bracket working in universities, government, financial institutions, and businesses. Some scholars, in recent works, have commented on the relationship between ‘development’ and ICT as well as the perception that ICT automatically empowers women (Ng & Mitter 2005; Ong & Collier 2005; Reddy 2007)....

    • 4 Can the Internet Help? How Immigrant Women from China Get Jobs A Survey on PRC Immigrants’ Employment Status in Canada
      (pp. 65-94)
      Arent GREVE and Janet SALAFF

      This chapter studies how the Internet can ease access to skilled jobs for Chinese women immigrants in Canada and where it fails. Labour markets develop mechanisms that segment the working populace into those who are seen as more and less worthy of the good jobs. Gender and the attribution of who are indigenous or intruders are key divisions between contenders for prime positions. In North America, entrenched divisions between women and men, immigrants and locals, are accompanied by definitions of who possess the required characteristics for job holders. With the pay, prestige, and culture of jobs differing, good jobs are...

    • 5 Cyberactivism in the Women’s Movement A Comparison of Feminist Practices by Women Organizing in Mainland China and Hong Kong
      (pp. 95-116)
      Ting LIU

      In response to the presence of activism on the Internet, social-movement theorists have coined the concept ‘cyberactivism’ to describe social movements which demand cultural and social change, such as the feminist ones, and can take shape in the virtual world (McCaughey & Ayers 2003; Naples 1998; Rheingold 1994). After comparing collective identity among online and offline feminist activists, one of these theorists, Ayers (Ayers 2003: 161-162) especially calls into question ‘the nature of what comprises a social-movement group in cyberspace’ and ‘how, if at all, social movement(s) work online’. This chapter explores the issue of cyberactivism in the complex cultural context...

    • 6 Cyber Self-centres? Young Hong Kong women and their personal websites
      (pp. 117-134)
      Kiu-chor HO, Wesley Siu-hang TANG and Petula Sik-ying HO

      Every once in a while we are reminded of the ever-increasing popularity of the Internet and the addiction of the young to it.² The Asian Internet growth rate is found to be very high (Mitra & Schwartz 2001). The rapid growth of the Internet is increasingly international, with young people being the early adopters in most countries (Skinner, Biscope & Poland 2003). Witnessed in our own lives, for many of us, the first thing to do in the morning is to check our mailboxes – the virtual ones. In addition to the use of e-mail and instant messengers, constructing and maintaining personal...

    • 7 Embeddedness and Virtual Community Chinese Women and Online Shopping
      (pp. 135-154)
      Chong GAO

      The rise of the Internet and cyberspace puts great effect on human life because the new communication technology restructures and reproduces human life (Escobar 1994) and fosters virtual community (Baym 1995; Fox & Roberts 1999; Jones 1995), which is different from that of the social world of physical contact. However, it is important to point out that cyberspace is not actually isolated from the physical world (Ward 1999: 21; Wellman 1997: 448), as ‘Virtual communities involve a combination of physical and virtual interaction, social imagination and identity’ (Shumar & Renninger 2002: 1-2). As the node of the intersection and interaction is usually...

    • 8 Electronic Park Benches Online Mothers in Hong Kong Using the Baby Kingdom
      (pp. 155-178)
      Victoria CAPLAN

      In studies of the Internet from the early 1990s to the turn of the century, there was a concern that users of the Internet (or at least the Usenet) were overwhelmingly white, male, American, and highly educated (Barwell & Bowles 2000), and that English dominated much of the Net, with the voices of most women marginalized or silenced (Inayatullah & Milojevic 1999). At the same time there was an ongoing debate about the existence and nature of ‘virtual communities’. Rheingold stated that if he were able to re-write hisVirtual Communities, he would have chosen the less contentious term of ‘online social...


    • 9 Sapphic Shadows Sworn Sisterhoods and Cyber Lesbian Communities in Hong Kong
      (pp. 181-202)
      Amy SIM

      Rich’s (1980) conception of ‘compulsory heterosexuality’ to explain the existence of female homosexuality as resistance to heterosexuality has been criticized for its ignorance of the range of female sexuality and the inability to imagine women’s same-sex desires as anything but resistance to heterosexuality (Blackwood & Wieringa 1999). However, Rich’s central thesis remains unchallenged that many societies are characterized by systems of compulsory heterosexuality, symptomatic of patriarchy.

      Rich’s (1980) continuity approach located all women on a lesbian continuum with respect to their practices that resist compulsory heterosexuality and dependence on men, defining lesbianism cross-culturally and trans-historically as forms of ‘women-loving women’ (Radicalesbians...

    • 10 Sex & Life Politics Formed Through the Internet Online & Offline Dating Experiences of Young Women in Shanghai
      (pp. 203-222)
      Yuxin PEI and Sik Ying HO

      By using the sexual life of young women in Shanghai, China, this study endeavours to understand the rapid changing sexual and social culture of the city. It will focus on young women’s sexual encounters in cyberspace and with offline dating, and provide us with useful information about their sex lives and how, as women, they deal with a fast-changing, modern city in the digital age of the 21stcentury. We will see how women create new virtual networks for themselves and more importantly, how they transform these virtual networks into so-called ‘real’ social networks, and how they use these networks...

    • 11 On Sale in Express Package Chinese Female Bodies as Commodities in Cyberspace
      (pp. 223-248)
      Maggi W.H. LEUNG

      ‘I have a close friend who is Asian-crazy. He’s got Asian pussy fever so bad that he can apparently only get it up for a pretty Thai or Korean girl, and wouldn’t give Pamela Anderson a second look. Used to be I didn’t quite understand it, but now I’m in Hong Kong and watching all these pretty girls walking around in the hot evenings wearing these high heel fuck-me shoes, and earlier today, I was walking behind this Hong Kong girl who just got back from the tennis courts, her legs all sweaty and I could see through her shorts...

    • 12 Boundary-Crossing through Cyberspace Chinese Women and Transnational Marriages Since 1994
      (pp. 249-270)
      Lihui LIU and Hong LIU

      Since 1978 a large number of Chinese women have emigrated from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) through transnational marriages, and this phenomenon has attracted enormous media attention in China. Those Chinese women who tie the knot with foreigners have often been portrayed as seekers of financial gain, while other motivations for expatriation have been overlooked. Moreover, stories of misery in host countries have often been underlined, leaving the real situation of most female emigrants unnoticed. By over-estimating women’s motives of financial gain through transnational marriage, existing studies seem to have failed to look at women’s own strategies and understandings...

  8. Contributors
    (pp. 271-272)
  9. Index
    (pp. 273-275)