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Sex and Desire in Hong Kong$
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Petula Sik Ying Ho and A. Ka Tat Tsang

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9789888139156

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888139156.001.0001

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Lost in translation

Lost in translation

Sex and sexuality in elite discourse and everyday language

Chapter:
(p.22) (p.23) Chapter 1 Lost in translation
Source:
Sex and Desire in Hong Kong
Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888139156.003.0002

This article questions our own use of language in representing, articulating, and communicating Chinese-speaking people's experiences associated with the words ‘sex’ and ‘sexuality’ in the English language. We notice that whenever the elite discourse fails to fully represent the lived experience of ‘the people’, their own utterances will demonstrate the creative and subversive potentials of the everyday language. Our research has transformed our understanding of an ever-evolving domain we once tried to capture with the western language of sexuality, and led us to rethink our theoretical positions and methods. We finally arrive at a better understanding of the value and significance of research that engages with people's articulation of their lived experience that might contradict our original position, assumptions and arguments. We wish to caution against the unquestioned privileging of elite discourses produced and distributed from sites of power, and the risk of theoretical imperialism.

Keywords:   Elite discourse, Everyday language, Sexuality, Sex

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