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Title: CAUGHT THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: Tomboy Identity in Hong Kong and Gender Performance
Authors: Hu, Xiaonan
Advisors: Fernández-Kelly, Patricia
Department: Sociology
Class Year: 2014
Abstract: This paper delves into the many complex layers that make up the tomboy (“TB”) identity in Hong Kong and the ways they relate to questions of societal acceptance, gender expression, lesbianism, and agency. A thorough analysis of the twenty-one different interviews that were conducted reveals the existence of a struggle between mainstream Hong Kong society and tomboys to control interpretation of the TB identity and all its implications. Through a careful devaluation of female sexuality and the imposition of subtle societal sanctions both on the streets and in the law against TBs, Hong Kong society succeeds in trapping tomboys within a limited view of their gender deviant performances. Consequently, what might appear at first to be public acceptance for sexual minorities and performances that challenge the gender binary is in actuality nothing more than a temporary tolerance for the “fake guys” that the majority of Hong Kong believe tomboys to be.
Extent: 135 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Sociology, 1954-2016

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