Handbook on Gender in Asia
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Handbook on Gender in Asia

Edited by Shirlena Huang and Kanchana N. Ruwanpura

The Handbook on Gender in Asia critically examines, through a gender perspective, five broad themes of significance to Asia: the ‘Theory and Practice’ of researching in Asia; ‘Gender, Ageing and Health’; ‘Gender and Labour’; ‘Gendered Migrations and Mobilities’; and ‘Gender at the Margins’. With each chapter providing an overview of the key intellectual developments on the issue under discussion, as well as empirical examples to examine how the Asian case sheds light on these debates, this collection will be an invaluable reference for scholars of gender and Asia.
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Chapter 3: You are (Hong Kong) Chinese! You should understand our culture! Reflections of a Chinese male ethnographer on researching Nepali drug users in Hong Kong

Wai-man Tang

Abstract

This chapter provides a reflexive account of my research experience as a Chinese male ethnographer with male and female Nepali drug users in Hong Kong within various drug settings. Specifically, the chapter describes how I use various strategies to create multiple gender identities to approach male informants at drug rehabilitation centres and female informants on the streets, and how this flexible gendered performance has helped me to obtain a better understanding of the informants who are also practising multiple gender identities throughout their drug career. The chapter draws a contrast with previous drug studies done by male researchers who have often highlighted the importance of performing a hegemonic masculine identity in their fieldwork. Their approach is similar to transparent reflexivity, which overlooks the complexity and uncertainty of the research process. This chapter highlights the intersectional approach to reflexivity and emphasizes the correlation between the generation of knowledge and the performances of the researcher and researched in a particular social space.

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