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postgraduate thesis: Compensated dating in Hong Kong

TitleCompensated dating in Hong Kong
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chu, S. C. [朱世君]. (2014). Compensated dating in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5204906
AbstractThis thesis is an empirical study on the phenomenon of compensated dating [hereafter known as CD] in Hong Kong. It examines the lived experiences of CD participants and their self-understandings of their identities and behaviors. Drawing from formal in-depth interviews with 30 male clients and 12 young women who provided CD, cyber ethnography of a major online CD forum, informal conversations with CD participants and offline participant observations of various types of non-commercial and non-sexual social gatherings amongst groups of CD participants from the period between March 2010 and December 2012, this thesis examines why and how individuals come to be involved in CD, how they form intimacies in the context of CD and the nature of these intimacies. In the process, it illuminates the emerging social phenomenon of CD in light of the transformation of intimacy, plastic sexuality, new female and male biographies, gender relationships, the advance of information technology, and various social changes in an increasing fragmented and risky society as we enter into the world of late modernity. This thesis argues that CD participants perceive CD as a space for practicing plastic sexuality rather than a form of prostitution. The fact that sex does not necessarily happen in CD, the dynamic interactions amongst CD participants, and the changes of conventional sexual script from a marital, reproductive and monogamous one to a non-marital, non-reproductive, recreational, non-monogamous and even emotionally indifferent one make the CD script more like the mainstream sexual script in late modernity and less like the traditional commercial sexual script. The resemblance between the CD script and modern intimacy serves as a major rationale for CD participants to justify their CD behaviors. This thesis also argues that male clients of CD desire more than just bounded authenticity and that CD relationship is a complex and dynamic interpersonal relationship rather than a simple and static seller-buyer relationship because more often than not, CD participants extend their relationships beyond a bounded, commercial sexual context to an unbounded, non-commercial social context. This thesis examines the factors that facilitate CD participants to transform an impersonal and bounded commercial relationship to a genuine and unbounded interpersonal and/or romantic relationship. This thesis concludes that although CD relationships may be ephemeral, precarious and founded on economic elements, so too are many conventional relationships in modern society. There is an increasing intellectual tension to demarcate between CD relations and conventional intimate relations because while the former underscores the romantic and reciprocal qualities of the later, the later also reflects the recreational, economic and unstable elements of the former. Although plastic sexuality, the transformation of intimacy and various consequences of modernity are not in themselves the causes of the emergence of CD, they do create the contexts of an environment that is favorable to the development and growth of the CD phenomenon.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectDating (Social customs) - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramSociology
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/198823

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChu, Sai-kwan, Cassini-
dc.contributor.author朱世君-
dc.date.accessioned2014-07-10T04:10:18Z-
dc.date.available2014-07-10T04:10:18Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationChu, S. C. [朱世君]. (2014). Compensated dating in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5204906-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/198823-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis is an empirical study on the phenomenon of compensated dating [hereafter known as CD] in Hong Kong. It examines the lived experiences of CD participants and their self-understandings of their identities and behaviors. Drawing from formal in-depth interviews with 30 male clients and 12 young women who provided CD, cyber ethnography of a major online CD forum, informal conversations with CD participants and offline participant observations of various types of non-commercial and non-sexual social gatherings amongst groups of CD participants from the period between March 2010 and December 2012, this thesis examines why and how individuals come to be involved in CD, how they form intimacies in the context of CD and the nature of these intimacies. In the process, it illuminates the emerging social phenomenon of CD in light of the transformation of intimacy, plastic sexuality, new female and male biographies, gender relationships, the advance of information technology, and various social changes in an increasing fragmented and risky society as we enter into the world of late modernity. This thesis argues that CD participants perceive CD as a space for practicing plastic sexuality rather than a form of prostitution. The fact that sex does not necessarily happen in CD, the dynamic interactions amongst CD participants, and the changes of conventional sexual script from a marital, reproductive and monogamous one to a non-marital, non-reproductive, recreational, non-monogamous and even emotionally indifferent one make the CD script more like the mainstream sexual script in late modernity and less like the traditional commercial sexual script. The resemblance between the CD script and modern intimacy serves as a major rationale for CD participants to justify their CD behaviors. This thesis also argues that male clients of CD desire more than just bounded authenticity and that CD relationship is a complex and dynamic interpersonal relationship rather than a simple and static seller-buyer relationship because more often than not, CD participants extend their relationships beyond a bounded, commercial sexual context to an unbounded, non-commercial social context. This thesis examines the factors that facilitate CD participants to transform an impersonal and bounded commercial relationship to a genuine and unbounded interpersonal and/or romantic relationship. This thesis concludes that although CD relationships may be ephemeral, precarious and founded on economic elements, so too are many conventional relationships in modern society. There is an increasing intellectual tension to demarcate between CD relations and conventional intimate relations because while the former underscores the romantic and reciprocal qualities of the later, the later also reflects the recreational, economic and unstable elements of the former. Although plastic sexuality, the transformation of intimacy and various consequences of modernity are not in themselves the causes of the emergence of CD, they do create the contexts of an environment that is favorable to the development and growth of the CD phenomenon.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshDating (Social customs) - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleCompensated dating in Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5204906-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSociology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5204906-

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