Single working women and motherhood: The personal and the political

Evelyn G.H. Ng, Catherine Wah-hung Ng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Hong Kong has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world and the number of single women continues to increase. We examined this phenomenon in the context of state moral projects and prevailing workplace culture to account for the decline. We propose that the contradictions in the behavior of Hong Kong women can be explained by theoretical discussions on formal legal rights at one end, and at the other, promotions of traditional family core values. We analyzed narratives of three single middle-class professional women with children to gain insight into how they negotiated and crafted their alternative, unconventional work-family scripts. We found that while they held a mix of traditional and modern notions and successfully coped with their scripts, there was disinterest in seeing themselves as part of an evolving community that is an alternative to the conventional norm of the heterosexual couple.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-38
Number of pages30
JournalAsian Journal of Women's Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Hong kong
  • Life scripts
  • Motherhood
  • Singlehood
  • Women
  • Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies


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