Change in Fathers' Role in Hong Kong

      With the trend of increasing concern on the gender equality, the traditional “man outside, woman inside” (男主外、女主內) situation has become less significant in the Hong Kong society. The family patterns thus become more diversified, as we have growing number of due incomes families with both parents working, single parent families of fathers taking care of the children, as well as families with fathers stay home while mothers work outside as the bread winners.
      All the above mentioned family patterns, inevitably, shift the men and women’s role, and it represent a new era of the expanding father role. Under such context, the fathers in Hong Kong are facing great challenge, are the men in Hong Kong ready for the changes? How well are they in the new father role? Are they facing any difficulties in fulfilling the new role? To answer these questions, here begins with going through the history of the change in father role from the traditional society to a modern world. Then, by studying the recent situation of those “stay at home fathers”, as an example, to illustrate the great influence of the patriarchy on the men which brings struggles while they are picking up a more gender equal role. After that, the social construction of the ideal father role in the twenty-first century would be examined, as well as looking at the social discourse which shape up such an ideal. The power/knowledge issue which reinforced such belief and the implication of such issue would also be explored. Finally, recommendations on family service development would be discussed.

The change in father role in Hong Kong
    In traditional Chinese family, fathers were the “head of the family” (一家之主). As the leader of the household, who is responsible for the well being of the whole family, the dominant role was to bring income, in order to feed them. And since the success of the men were determined by how well they can earn for their living. The fathers were devoted to the...