Siumi Maria TAM 譚少薇

Research Projects


  • Engendering Ethnic Existence: An Ethnographic Study of Nepalese Women in Hong Kong
  • TAM Siu Mi Maria
    1 December 2005
    CUHK Research Committee Funding (Direct Grants)

    The proposed project aims at understanding the experience of Nepalese women as members of an ethnic minority in Hong Kong, who remain a marginalized social group and often victims of cultural stigmatization. Lacking in the host society.s language and information on the public welfare system, they are faced with problems such as high rates of infectious diseases, notably HIV/AIDS, low employment rate, and low education level. These are aggravated by the gender division of labor in the family, where Nepalese women are subordinated to men due to conservative gender concepts, religious expectations, and social systems of control over female mobility. Cross-cultural research shows that the most efficient means to social development is through the education of women, as they perform important roles as socializers of children, brokers of cultural values, caregivers to family members, guardians of familial wellbeing including physical and metal health, and partners in household finance. This is a pilot ethnographic study in the Nepalese communities in Yuen Long and Jordan, based on in-depth interviews and participant observation, to arrive at a holistic understanding of Nepalese women.s experience as daughters, wives and mothers, and as grandmothers. By comparing the changes over three generations, the study identifies factors that intervene with women.s life stages, and to further seek generalizable implications for other South Asian groups in Hong Kong. Results from the study will inform public policy makers, as well as contribute to the theorization of ethnic relations in urban settings in a globalized world. (AL05436)


  • Recording Wan Chai People’s Culture
  • LU Lie Dan, TAM Siu Mi Maria
    7 February 2006
    The Conservancy Association Centre for Heritage

    Wan Chai is one of the oldest districts in Hong Kong. As it is being redeveloped by the government, many traditional items and properties are rapidly disappearing. In order to preserve some tangible and intangible cultural properties in Wan Chai, we are going to record household items of an old flat in Wan Chai, which has not been renovated since the 1950s. The objectives of this project are 1) to accurately record and describe individual and assembled items in this flat, and to conduct interview with local peoples to collect data about Wan Chai people.s way of life; 2) based on the above data and other published documents, to analyze the meanings and functions of the items. The outcome of this project will be a documentation of the floor plan and household items of the flat. During this documentation process, the flat will be opened to the public to encourage public participation in heritage preservation in order to enhance Wan Chai peoples. sense of belonging and group identity. The outcome of this project will also provide valuable information for the public history of Wan Chai and Hong Kong. (AL05684)


  • The Social Construction of Family and Gender: An Investigation of Polygyny across the Hong Kong-China Border
  • TAM Siu Mi Maria, MA Lai Chong (Dept of Social Work)
    30 December 2001
    Research Grants Council (Earmarked Grants)

    This study investigates the phenomenon of baau yih naaih, in which Hong Kong men take Mainland mistresses and set up second households in China. In the past twenty years, there has been a tremendous increase of mobility of personnel and capital across the Hong Kong-China border, ushered in by China’s open policy and economic reforms. While public discourse has attributed the cross-border polygynous relationships to economic discrepancies between China and Hong Kong, and to changes in the occupational structure of Hong Kong, little has been done to systematically examine the underlying complexity of the phenomenon. Paying particular attention to the agency and subjectivities of the individuals involved in the relationships, this research aims to:
    (1) investigate the social and cultural circumstances that contribute to baau yih naaih relationships,
    (2) explore how the relationship is perceived by the persons involved, namely the husbands, wives, and mistresses, and
    (3) analyze the socio-economic and cultural impact on the family and the children.
    The study takes into consideration the interplay of three aspects: family and work structure, concepts of gender roles, and the cultural identity of Hong Kong people vis-a-vis mainlanders. This research will contribute to the understanding of family and gender relations in post-colonial Hong Kong and contemporary Chinese society, especially in relation to mobility and social development. In-depth data from this study will further the knowledge and theorizing of these issues in anthropology and social work, and will be particularly relevant for welfare policy makers and frontline social service providers. (SS01349)


  • Tradition in Diaspora: Culture and Selfhood among the Nepalese in Hong Kong
  • TAM Siu Mi Maria
    15 April 2008
    CUHK Research Committee Funding (Direct Grants)

    Tradition provides essential knowledge for identity construction and authority for communities to justify their existence through defining cultural capital. This is important for migrant peoples as they seek to anchor their new social existence. This project examines the tradition discourse, with a focus on the Nepalese community, when the government moves toward building a "harmonious society" with multiculturalism as a predominant theme. In this context, different actors make use of tradition in promoting beliefs and values: The government inculcates ideas of citizenship, Nepalese organizations create feelings of unity and manage ethnic impressions, and welfare agencies promote inclusion. Nepalese individuals give meaning to their lives through practice of traditions in everyday life, simultaneously abiding by and contesting traditional culture. As the government, nongovernment organizations and individuals take part in the construction of a multicultural Hong Kong, they share discourses, symbols, and techniques in the reproduction and invention of tradition. The project looks at how they are connected in the discourse of tradition, and how this discourse is produced and becomes means of unity, transformation, and discord. The project asks: l) How Nepalese organizations and individuals make use of tradition in creating a transnational community; 2) how the Hong Kong government makes the Nepalese as the "other" and the "foreign" fit mainstream society; and 3) the role of non-government organizations in this process. The data generated will shed light on Hong Kong's South Asian minorities and inform policy makers, educators, and social service providers. It also contributes to the building of theory on tradition, migration and displacement, and on the complex relationship between the state, non-government organizations, and individuals in a transnational existence. (AL07887)



Research Publications


  • "Being Female and Ethnic Minority in Hong Kong: The Double Marginalization of Nepalese Women and Its Policy Implications". Paper presented in the International Conference on "Women’s Policy in China and Korea: Thinking from Women’s Lives" organized by Keimyung University. Daegu, Korea, 2007.05.24.



  • "Being Female and Ethnic Minority: Gender and Social Capital Among the Nepalese in Postcolonial Hong Kong". First Global Conference: Multiculturalism, Conflict and Belonging Oxford, U.K.: Mansfield College, 2007.09.03.



  • "Being Minority in Hong Kong: The Case of Nepalese Women and Its Implications for the New Race Discrimination Bill". Paper presented in the Sociological Seminar, No. 75 organized by Department of Sociology, Nanjing University. Nanjing, China, 2007.06.12.



  • "Belonging in Displacement: Minnan Women Constructing Identities". Paper presented at the 2nd International Conference on Hong Kong Culture "Local and Global: Identity and Differences", organized by Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Hong Kong, 2000.10.



  • A bibliography of gender studies in Hong Kong, 1991-1997. (co-authored with Fanny M. Cheung and Serena Sheng-hua Chu) Hong Kong : Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1998.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL Reference Z7964.H6 B52 1998 c.2; UL HK Studies Z7964.H6 B52 1998 c.3; CC Reference Z7964.H6 B52 1998 c.4; NA Reference Z7964.H6 B52 1998)



  • "Comments (on the Female Inheritance Movement in Hong Kong: Theorizing the Local/Global Interface)". Current Anthropology vol.46 no.3,. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.06. pp.403-404.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL Periodical GN1 .C8 v.46, no.1-3, 2005)



  • "Constructing Patriarchal Equality: Women in the Medical and Engineering Professions in Hong Kong". Paper presented at the International Congress of Asian and North African Studies. Montreal, Canada, 2000.08.



  • "Constructing Wives and Mistresses: Polygyny Across the Hong Kong- China Border". Paper presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, organized by Association for Asian Studies. Chicago, 2001.03.



  • "Convenient-Involvement Foods and Production of the Family Meal in Hong Kong". Production of Food and Foodways in Asia Department of Anthropology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong Heritage Museum Hong Kong, 2004.03.



  • "Country Institutional Report: Hong Kong SAR". Women’s/Gender Studies n Asia-Pacific ed. by Philip Bergstrom. Bangkok: UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, 2004. pp.244-266.



  • Culture and society of Hong Kong : a bibliography. (co-authored with Sidney C.H. Cheung) Hong Kong: Dept. of Anthropology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1999.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL DS796.H75 C85 1999 c.5; UL Reference DS796.H75 C85 1999; UL HK Studies DS796.H75 C85 1999 c.4; ARL Reference DS796.H75 C85 1999 c.3; CC Reference DS796.H75 C85 1999 c.2; NA General Education DS796.H75 C85 1999 c.6; NA Reference DS796.H75 C85 1999 c.8)



  • "The Double Marginalization of Nepalese Women in Hong Kong and its Policy Implications.". Women’s Policy in China and Korea: Thinking from Women’s Lives ed. by Institute for Women’s Studies, Keimyung University. Daegu, Korea, South: Keimyung University Press, 2007. pp.253-281.



  • "Double Marginalization: The Experience of Nepalese Women in Hong Kong". Faculty Seminar Nursing Department, CUHK, 2007.04.11.



  • "Eating Metropolitaneity: Hong Kong Identity in Yumcha. ". The International Library of Social Change in Asia Pacific - Hong Kong. ed. by Benjamin KP Leung. United Kingdom: Ashgate, 2004. pp.459-468.



  • “Engendering Chinese Men: A Cultural Analysis of Hong Kong Men's Mistress-keeping in Mainland China”. (co-authored with LIONG Chan Ching Mario)Women’s Worlds 2005 -- the 9th International Interdisciplinary Congress on Women . Seoul, Korea: Ewha Women’s University, 2005.06. p.1-13



  • "The Female Face of Being Minority: Nepalese Women in Hong Kong". Paper presented in the SASON International Conference "Social Sciences in a Multicultural World: Addressing the Persistence of Deprivation, Conflict and Violence" 10 pgs. Kathmandu, Nepal, 2006.12.11.



  • "Forced Mobility, Parental Power and Marriage Constraints: Femininities Among Nepalese Women in Hong Kong". Paper presented in the The 5th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, 12 pgs. Honolulu, 2007.01.12.



  • "Forces of Tradition, Forces of Change: University Women in Gender Studies in Hong Kong". Paper presented in the International Conference on the Indigenization of Women's Studies Teaching: Asian Experiences. Beijing, 2002.10.19.



  • Gender differences in the career development of professionals in Hong Kong. (co-authored with Mandy M. Hoi and Fanny M. Cheung) Hong Kong : Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, 2004.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL H62.5.H6 H62 no.152 c.2; UL HK Studies H62.5.H6 H62 no.152)



  • "Gender Studies in Hong Kong's Tertiary Education Sector and the Practice of Gender Equality". Round Table on Current Issues of Women’s Studies in Asia Seoul: Korean Women’s Institute, 2007.11.15.



  • "Gendered Subjectivities: Minnan Women in Hong Kong and the Philippines". Paper presented in the 2nd International Congress of Asian Scholars. Berlin, 2001.08.



  • Globalizing local identity : Hong Kong style yumcha in Australia. Hong Kong : Chinese University Of Hong Kong, 1997.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL GT2853.A8 T35 1997)



  • "Heunggongyan Forever: Immigrant Life and Hong Kong Style Yumcha in Australia". The Globalization of Chinese Food ed. by WU Y.H., David and CHEUNG C.H., Sidney. pp.131-151. Curzon, 2002.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL GT2853.C6 G56 2002; UL Reserve 2 hours GT2853.C6 G56 2002 c.2)



  • Hong Kong : the anthropology of a Chinese metropolis. (co-authored with Grant Evans ) Hong Kong : Chinese University Of Hong Kong, 1997.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL Reserve 2 hours DS796.H75 H63 1997 c.3; UL Reserve 4 hours DS796.H75 H63 1997; UL HK Studies DS796.H75 H63 1997 c.2)



  • "Lost, and Found?: Reconstructing Hong Kong Identity in the Idiosyncrasy and Syncretism of Yumcha". Changing Chinese Foodways in Asia ed. by David Wu and Tan Chee Beng. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 2001. pp.49-69.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL Reserve 4 hours GT2853.A8 C492 2001; UL HK Studies GT2853.A8 C492 2001 c.3; NA General Education GT2853.A8 C492 2001 c.2)



  • "New Patriarchs: Hong Kong Men Keeping Mistresses in Mainland China". International Conference on "Globalization and Gender: The Implications of Global Economic Restructuring for Women in China and Southeast Asia," organized by Gender Research Centre, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Women's Studies Centre, Peking University, Hong Kong, 2003.11.



  • "Patriarchal Mobility: Minnan Immigrant Women in Hong Kong". Paper presented in the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences Inter-Congress on Metropolitan Ethnic. Beijing, Canada, 2000.07.



  • Private practice and gendered power : women doctors in Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1999.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL H62.5.H6 H62 no.99; UL HK Studies H62.5.H6 H62 no.99 c.2; MD H62.5.H6 H62 no.99 c.3)



  • "Revisiting Polygyny: Views of Mainland and Hong Kong Chinese Women Compared". Paper presented in International Symposium on Female Anthropology Lijiang, Yunnan, China, 2003.03.09.



  • The structuration of Chinese modernization : women workers of Shekou industrial zone. Ann Arbor, Mich. : UMI, 1994.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL HD6200.Z6 S5 1994)



  • "Survival and Sacrifice: Minnan Women in Hong Kong". Paper presented at the International Conference on Migration and the "Asian Family" in a Globalizing World, organized by Asian Metacentre for Population and Sustainable Development Analysis, Singapore, 2001.04.



  • Tung Chung Before and After the New Airport: An Ethnographic Study of a Community in Hong Kong. (co-authored with YIP Hon Ming) Hong Kong: Antiquities and Monuments Office, HKSAR, 2005.12.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL HK Studies DS796.H76 T65 2005)



  • "We-women and They-women: Imagining Mistresses Across the Hong Kong-China Border". Reghinking and Recasting Citizenship: Social Exclusion and Marginality in Chinese Societies ed. by May Tam, Hok Bun Ku, Travis Kong. Hong Kong: Center for Social Policy Studies, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 2005.04. p.107-130.



  • 《分隔家庭對性別關係的衝擊》,香港:香港中文大學香港亞太研究所,2004。
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL H62.5.H6 H62 no.151 c.2; UL HK Studies H62.5.H6 H62 no.151)



  • 《沙田婦女參與社區事務硏究報告》,香港:沙田區議會社區發展委員會,1993。
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL HK Studies HQ1781.Z8S43 1993)



  • 《性別與傳媒》,香港:香港中文大學香港亞太硏究所性別硏究計劃,1996。
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL P96.S48 L53 1996; UL HK Studies P96.S48 L53 1996 c.3; CC P96.S48 L53 1996 c.2)



  • 《性別觀察》,香港:麥穗出版有限公司,2003。
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL Reserve 2 hours HQ1075 .X54 2003)



  • 《香港的跨境「包二奶」現象與社會福利界的回應》(與馬麗莊合著),香港:香港亞太研究所,2007。
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL H62.5.H6 H62 no.182 c.2; UL HK Studies H62.5.H6 H62 no.182)



  • <香港高校的性別研究課程與性別平等實踐>,《全國婦聯兩岸四地會議》,北京,2006.09.19,頁24。



  • <港式飲茶與香港人的身份認同>,《廣西民族學院學報》(哲學社會科學版) 第23卷第期,中國南寧:廣西民族學院, 2001.07,頁29-32。
    (CUHK Library Call No: Available Online)



  • 《選舉行為與意識的性別差異 : 以沙田區靑少年為例》(與黎安國及馬淑儀合著),香港:香港中文大學香港亞太硏究所,1996。
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL H62.5.H6 H62 no.49; UL HK Studies H62.5.H6 H62 no.49 c.3)


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