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The empowerment of rural migrant lalas: Contending queerness and heteronormativity in China

Liu, Tingting

China information. Volume 33:Number 2 (2019); pp 165-184 -- Sage

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  • Title:
    The empowerment of rural migrant lalas: Contending queerness and heteronormativity in China
  • Author: Liu, Tingting;
    Nedilsky, Lida V.;
    Lee, Joseph Tse-Hei
  • Found In: China information. Volume 33:Number 2 (2019); pp 165-184
  • Journal Title: China information
  • Subjects: China--Periodicals; rural-to-urban migration--queer--digital media--heteronormativity--lesbian--media anthropology; Dewey: 951
  • Rights: legaldeposit
  • Publication Details: Sage
  • Abstract:

    In today's China, women's social roles continue to be rigidly associated with gender-based responsibilities that include defending the integrity of their family, entering into heteronormative marriage, and showing reproductive capabilities. Most of those who self-identify as lalas (lesbians) struggle with such issues as self-shaming emotions, disclosing their homosexuality to family members, friends, or colleagues, and dealing with family and social pressures. Within this context, I investigate queerness in a group of young Chinese rural migrant lalas working and living in the industrial area of the Pearl River Delta economic zone in South China. I draw two conclusions. First, rural-to-urban labour migration empowers rural female lalas by providing a measure of economic independence and an escape from patriarchal and homophobic family relations. Second, the integration of traditional (offline and face-to-face) socializing locations and emerging virtual communicative spaces plays an important role in the process through which possibilities of living a queer life are carved out.


  • Identifier: System Number: LDEAvdc_100089536508.0x000001; Journal ISSN: 0920-203X; 10.1177/0920203X19825589
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): ELD Digital store

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