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Durham University

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Publication details

Ho, P.S.Y., Jackson, S. & Kong, S.T. (2018). Speaking against Silence: Finding a Voice in Hong Kong Chinese Families through the Umbrella Movement. Sociology 52(5): 966-982.

Author(s) from Durham


Social movement researchers have investigated how personal relationships and emotional attachments are implicated in activism, but less attention has been given to the ways in which activism affects personal lives. This article addresses this issue, drawing on interviews and focus groups with Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement’s active participants, bystanders and opponents to explore its consequences for family life. While those who were not involved in the movement articulated an acceptance of hierarchical family structures and their imposed silences, movement activists saw their experience of the occupation as enabling them to find a voice within their families. The Umbrella Movement, we suggest, has opened up a space for the reflexive exploration of personal life and raised the possibility of modifying Hong Kong family practices.