Single working women in Hong Kong: A case of 'normal deviance'?

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

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Hong Kong women are marrying later, and the number of never-married women has been steadily increasing. Th e recent interest in this rise has remained at the level of media narratives with little input from academic research and, where it exists, centres on statistical analyses. Our article examines who some of these single women are by drawing heavily on interviews conducted with nineteen informants in full-time employment. We found that there was a strong sense of affi rmation and assertiveness about their singleness. While nearly of all them wanted to get married if they met a suitable person, the centrality of work, besides providing our informants with a strong sense of identity, also rendered them less willing to compromise for a partner. In time, their status was accepted as an alternative life choice, as they generally felt that single women faced little stigmatization. Such a state can be described as 'normal deviance'. In addition, the informants tended to pursue independently what was important to them with little regard for macro social and political issues, and rarely engaged with pro-family or pro-natalist policies when negotiating their identities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDoing Families in Hong Kong
PublisherEntomological Society of Canada
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9789004175679
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

Publication series

NameSocial Transformations in Chinese Societies
ISSN (Print)1871-2673

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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