Queer families raising children represents a recent development of increasing LGBT visibility in urban China. This presentation will examine how Chinese lesbian and gay couples pursue and achieve parenthood in a new social context.
Acknowledging the lack of social recognition and institutional supports in participants’ negotiation of queer parenthood, this research focuses on the formation of queer families in relation to state governance in China. Through a critical reading of the study’s participants’ life histories of becoming parents, Dr. Wei Wei aims to unfold the linkage between their reproductive practices and various governing logics carried out by the Chinese state — namely, the economic logic of producing a self-made neoliberal subject; the cultural logic of reasserting family-centered values; and the political logic of favoring pragmatism and individual bargaining. Dr. Wei argues that the potential of these families to challenge the heteronormative structure has been largely compromised.
Dr. Wei Wei is Professor of Sociology at East China Normal University in Shanghai. His teaching and research interests include: gender/sexuality, popular culture and qualitative methods, with a focus on identity formation, public space, and community mobilization organized around homosexuality in contemporary Chinese society. In addition to authoring two Chinese books: Going Public: The Production and Transformation of Queer Spaces in Chengdu, China (2012) and Queering Chinese Society: Urban Space, Popular Culture and Social Policy (2015), he has published more than twenty articles in both English and Chinese peer-reviewed journals, including Culture, Health & Sexuality, Journal of Homosexuality, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Journal of Asian Studies, and Chinese Journal of Sociology.
He was recently featured in a Time Out Beijing article.