The Home as a Barometer of Society : “Practices of Intimacy” to Moderate Family Intergenerational Conflict in the 2019 Summer of Dissent*

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-334
Journal / PublicationChina Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


During the 2019 Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill (Anti-ELAB) movement, parents generally supported government efforts to maintain order while their adult children allied themselves with the protesters. Conventional literature on social movements—particularly for Hong Kong—tends to focus on macropolitical aspects such as the causes of the social movement, evolutionary processes, and macro-political structures. This article suggests that “practices of intimacy” can supplant hierarchical power relations in the family, enabling both parents and children to resolve problems of intergenerational conflict. By analyzing the results of 63 in-depth interviews and three focus groups between the parents and young adult children, this article identifies the stresses in family relationships and then highlights ways to relieve them through the lens of restored intimacy. This research may offer clues for Hong Kong policy makers to reestablish social cohesion.