Spatialising domestic practices: Hong Kong women’s life stories of domesticity and their disjunctive modern womanhood

Kimburley Wing Yee CHOI*, Anita Kit Wa CHAN, Annie Hau Nung CHAN

*Corresponding author for this work

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

1 Citation (Scopus)


How do women manage domestic work spatially? How does that change throughout life and relate to their subjectivities and womanhood? Informed by feminist geographers’ concept of ‘lived’ space and queer studies’ concept of disjunctive modernity, this paper spatialises women’s domestic practices through examining 43 older Hong Kong women’s life stories on domesticity. Hong Kong women, since childhood, have creatively employed temporal-spatial strategies to multiply and shrink domestic space to negotiate domestic responsibilities and gender hierarchy prescribed by family and society. Domestic space changes throughout life and intersects with other spaces, including work, institutional, entertainment and public spaces. Through performing various domestic spatial practices at different points in their life course, these women have developed gendered subjectivities such as self-reliant and independent ‘modern’ womanhood, dutiful daughters and tiresome working mothers, which complement, negotiate and contradict with each other, constituting what we term ‘disjunctive modern Hong Kong womanhood’.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalGender, Place, and Culture
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project was fully supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No. 11604317). We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the four anonymous reviewers for their invaluable feedback and constructive comments, which greatly enhanced the quality of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Domestic spatial practices
  • domestic space
  • family
  • Hong Kong women
  • life history


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