Lesbians in East Asia: Diversity, Identities, and Resistance

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9781560236917: Lesbians in East Asia: Diversity, Identities, and Resistance

Discover the courageous, vibrant similarities and differences of lesbians in East Asia

How are same-sex relationships similar or different in the cultures of East Asia? Lesbians in East Asia: Diversity, Identities, and Resistance is a unique examination of research and vital issues involving lesbians and lesbianism in East Asia, using perspectives by academics and activists who typically are rarely published in English. Contributing experts from Hong Kong, mainland China, Japan, and Korea discuss a variety of topics, including solidarity and conflicts between lesbians and feminists, identities and identity politics, lesbian lives and families, and representation in mainstream culture.

Asia, because of its inherent language and cultural differences from Western society, is a location of a vast unrealized fount of knowledge about same-sex relationships and the societies in which they interact. Lesbians in East Asia: Diversity, Identities, and Resistance begins to fill this gap in knowledge, going beyond East-West divisions by gathering in one volume studies in Asia lesbian/queer studies of both the West and Asia. The text’s emphasis is on points of connection and cooperation across the cultures within Asia and between this region and other areas of the world. Diverse viewpoints and research on lesbians in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan are presented showing issues and concerns that may be different and often are very similar to regions beyond those borders.

Topics in Lesbians in East Asia: Diversity, Identities, and Resistance include:

  • lesbian rights and feminism in Korea
  • emotional damage suffered in family, work, and school contexts, including self-denial
  • analysis of Internet exchanges in China, highlighting those feeling that they should maintain a low profile and others showing disdain toward the lesbian lifestyle
  • gender inequality and discrimination and their effects on self-sufficiency
  • the effects of expectations of marriage or remaining single on economics, legal standpoints, and in school
  • ignorance and intolerance in Korean and Japanese societies
  • identity politics
  • conflicts of ideas between lesbians and feminists
  • and much more!

Lesbians in East Asia: Diversity, Identities, and Resistance is important, illuminating reading for academics and students in women’s studies, gender studies, queer/sexuality studies, East Asian studies, and activists in feminist movements.

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Review:

AN INNOVATIVE AND COMPELLING COLLECTION OF WRITINGS VIBRANT WITH THE LIVES OF LESBIANS IN JAPAN, KOREA, CHINA, AND HONG KONG. A kaleidoscope of images comes forth as the reader emerges from this exposure to lives often hidden in countries where it is increasingly important for lesbians to know and learn about one another. FASCINATING DISCUSSIONS are included of identity, invisibility, self-representation, and diversity. -- Susan Krieger, Author, The Mirror Dance: Identity in a Women's Community

THE RICHNESS OF THIS COLLECTION OF ESSAYS IS IN ITS DIVERSITY. . . . They succeed in asking penetrating questions about the oppression of compulsory heterosexuality without succumbing to the temptation to impose a hegemonic definition of either lesbianism or Asia. The women they study represent a stunning variety of types of relationships: same-sex partnerships, women in heterosexual marriages, single mothers, closeted daughters, church members, and participants in internet communities. The researchers allow for a variety of identities over the life-course of their subjects. -- Sally A. Hastings, PhD, Associate Professor of History and Chair of Asian Studies, Purdue University, Co-Editor, U.S.-Japan Women's Journal

This collection EXPANDS OUR UNDERSTANDING OF 'LESBIAN' IDENTITIES NOT ONLY FOR EAST ASIA BUT FOR THE STUDY OF SEXUALITY IN GENERAL. 'Lesbian' becomes only one of a range of constructions of same-sex desire, mediated by gender roles, age, and ethnicity. The authors identify both geographic and virtual spaces, including online communities of youth and of lesbian mothers, that allow women to overcome cultural silences and other obstacles to identity formation. Thoughtful attention to methodologies enhances the contribution of this IMPORTANT COLLECTION -- Estelle B. Freedman, PhD, Edgar E. Robinson Professor in U.S. History, Stanford University; Author, No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women

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