Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Celine Liao Humanities and Social Science

Mixed-Orientation Marriage in Queer Modernity: Tongqi in China

Tongqi, the abbreviation of gay man (tong)s wife (qi), is a term used in China to describe a self-identified straight woman who married to a self-identified gay man that both partners assume to maintain a heterosexual marriage. Chinas interactions with its ancestral-familial ethics stressing on offspring, reactionary attitude toward the Western knowledge/power on gender and sexuality, and the rigid legal status against same-sex marriage, complicated the struggles faced by the women in the mixed-orientation marriages.
This research conducts participant observation and interviews in the tongqi online mutual-support group and related public health institutions to examine i. what systems of knowledge they mobilize, ii. how they exercise them to negotiate norms around the legitimacy of tongqi, iii. how do subjects identified as tongqi develop divergent paths of resilience. This research seeks to contribute to the scholarship on gender and marriage system, the social processes of mixed-orientation marriage, and the diverse pathways of claiming womens rights in different societies.

Message To Sponsor

I am grateful for the support provided by the Wishek Fund that enabled me to conduct research in my area of study. The fellowship provided me the opportunity to travel across many field sites so that I could conduct my research as I planned. It would not have been possible to explore my academic curiosities to this extent without the Wishek Fund's support.
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Major: Sociology, Gender & Women's Studies
Mentor: Armando Lara-Millan
Sponsor: Wishek L&S
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