Title

Life in happy land : using virtual space and doing motherhood in Hong Kong

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Gender, Place and Culture : A Journal of Feminist Geography

Publication Date

1-1-2008

Volume

15

Issue

2

First Page

169

Last Page

188

Keywords

Hong Kong, internet, virtual space, working mothers

Abstract

This paper examines how a group of Hong Kong working mothers use the internet in performing and realizing their paid work and domestic role identities. The internet is a technology-enabled space and also what Michel de Certeau calls a 'practiced place', where its nature and functions are necessarily determined by the actions and practices of agents. Through participant observation and the analysis of a sample of chatroom and forum messages from a user-driven Hong Kong-based parenting website called Happy Land, I examine the relationship between this virtual space and its users. I find that the website has developed beyond its technology-mediated nature into a community of face-to-face friendships and social and emotional support. In effect, this virtual space plays a role in the social reproduction of the contemporary dual-earner family by enabling working mothers who use the website to perform roles in production and reproduction respectively.

DOI

10.1080/09663690701863281

Print ISSN

0966369X

E-ISSN

13600524

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2008 Taylor & Francis

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Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Chan, H. N., Annie. (2008). Life in happy land: Using virtual space and doing motherhood in Hong Kong. Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 15(2), 169-188. doi: 10.1080/09663690701863281