SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Love in Taiwan: Discourses on Non-Conforming Marriages

Dr. Hong-Zen Wang

Date: 8 July 2020Time: 1:30 PM

Finishes: 8 July 2020Time: 3:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Summer School

As part of the 2020 SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies Summer School, we kindly ask that you register to attend.

This event will be held online through Blackboard Collaborate.

*Please be aware that all Summer School event times follow British Summer Time (BST)


In Taiwan, arranged marriage seems a remote legend in current Taiwanese society. However, such a mainstream ideology of romantic love and marriage is a recent phenomenon that started only half a century ago. The discourse regarding love and marriage one hundred years ago is reopened in current Taiwanese society on transnational marriage and same-sex marriage debates, which are regarded as non-conforming marriages in a specific historical period. We will argue that the hegemonic ideology of romantic love has produced powerful exclusion effect on cross-border marriages based on ethnic and class discrimination, but also inclusive effect on gay marriage in present Taiwan society, which underscores the power of love discourse in modern Taiwanese social life. The discourse can be progressive in a specific historical conjuncture, but it can also be regressive to exclude other forms of intimacy.


Wang Hong-Zen Profile

Dr Hong-zen Wang is Professor of the Department of Sociology at the National Sun Yat-sen University in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. He has been working on ties between Vietnam and Taiwan since 1999. His research has focused on gender, ethnic and industrial relations, and on migrant worker and marriage migration issues. He set up the sociology popular science 'Streetcorner Sociology in Taiwan', when he was the President of Taiwanese Sociology Association. His recent published book is 'Under Global Production Pressure: Taiwan Capital, Vietnamese Workers and the State' (2019, National Taiwan University Press), and forthcoming article 'Flexible Intimacies in Global Intimate Economy: Evidences from Taiwan’s cross-border marriage' (Feminist Studies).

The SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies would like to express our thanks for the liaison of Professor Chiu Kuei-fen (National Chung Hsing University) and collaboration with the International Consortium of Global Taiwan Studies for this event.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies & The International Consortium of Global Taiwan Studies

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