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

Hau Nung, Annie CHAN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-188
Number of pages20
JournalGender, Place and Culture : A Journal of Feminist Geography
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


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