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2014 events

Gender and Ethnicity in Chinese-British Ethnic Intermarriage

Gender and Ethnicity in Chinese-British Ethnic Intermarriage
East and West: An Intimate Encounter


Research Seminar with Yang Hu, Gates Scholar and Doctoral Researcher, Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge

4-6pm, Wednesday 10 December 2014
Room S-1.06, Strand Campus, King's College London

*All welcome*


Cultural conflicts? Exotic romances? Chinese-British ethnic intermarriage has been mystified and clouded in popular discourse for a long time. Yet little is known about the actual lived experiences of Chinese-British families in Britain? While ‘doing’ gender is inevitable in a marriage and ‘doing’ ethnicity is essential for an inter-ethnic relationship, gender and ethnicity quite often operate in conjunction with each other for intermarried couples.  Drawing on my 20-month in-depth interviews and extensive ethnography into 33 first-generation Chinese-British families across Britain, I examine how people negotiate their intersecting gender and ethnic identities at an intimate and cross-cultural interface. Despite similar baseline stereotypes such as docile Chinese women, masculine British men and so on, four distinct adaptive strategies were identified in response to such baseline stigmas, which re-shapes and re-invents distinct intersectionalities between gender and ethnicity. Meanwhile, the four adaptive strategies uniquely relate to people’s life course biographies, immigration trajectories and wider social trends such as individualisation and detraditionalisation in a globalised world. 

About the speaker

Yang Hu is a Gates Scholar and doctoral researcher in Sociology at the University of Cambridge. He holds an MPhil. in Sociology from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. in Applied Linguistics and British Literature from Zhejiang University, China. His doctoral research explores how people negotiate their intersecting gender and ethnic identities in Chinese-British ethnic intermarriage in the UK. Yang’s other research interests include gender, the family and intimate relationships, migration and social values, and intergenerational relations. His recent research on gender and family values in China has been published in the Journal of Family Issues. As a certified interpreter, Yang has conducted conference interpretation for organisations such as the UNDP. As a writer, Yang authored the preface to the Chinese edition of Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love and edited the only multilingual poetry magazine (Mouse) in China. He also provides social commentaries on topics such as education and social inequality, China’s rural-urban discrepancy, etc. for major media outlets, including Fenghuang News, People’s Net and so on, in China.

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