Speaking against Silence: Finding a Voice in Hong Kong Chinese Families through the Umbrella Movement

Petula Sik Ying Ho, Stephanie Forsythe Jackson, Shirley Sui-Ting Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social movement researchers have investigated how personal relationships and emotional attachments are implicated in activism, but less attention has been given to the ways in which activism affects personal lives. This article addresses this issue, drawing on interviews and focus groups with Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement’s active participants, bystanders and opponents to explore its consequences for family life. While those who were not involved in the movement articulated an acceptance of hierarchical family structures and their imposed
silences, movement activists saw their experience of the occupation as enabling them to find a voice within their families. The Umbrella Movement, we suggest, has opened up a space for the reflexive exploration of personal life and raised the possibility of modifying Hong Kongfamily practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)966-982
Number of pages17
Issue number5
Early online date4 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details


  • development
  • ethics
  • postcolonialism
  • representation
  • Spivak
  • subalternity

Cite this