“A Second Voice of America”

Stacilee Ford

in Troubling American Women

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9789888083114
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207639 | DOI:
“A Second Voice of America”

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This chapter first places the events in Hong Kong in a broad context, touching on some of the ways in which the expatriate experience in this era was gendered. Following a brief discussion of conduct literature for expatriate women, it then addresses two models of American womanhood evident in Hong Kong during this time: the manifestation of institutionalized exceptionalism as exemplified by the American Women's Association (AWA), and a retreat from both exceptionalism and American identity in the autobiographical novel The Spring Wind by Gladis DePree. Next, it turns to the ways in which stereotypes of American girlhood and womanhood were utilized in performances of a new type of modernity and femininity in Hong Kong in this period. It also argues that tropes of Hong Kong exceptionalism were informed, in part, by Hong Kongers' appropriation of certain aspects of American culture, identities, values, and lifestyles, including American exceptionalism. Two examples of this process are considered: The Cathay Studio films starring Grace Chang, and the autobiography of Catherine Woo Mo Han, A Hong Kong Story before 1997.

Keywords: Hong Kong; Cold War; America; American identity; Gladis DePree; American womanhood; The Cathay Studio films; Catherine Woo Mo Han; American exceptionalism

Chapter.  14938 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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