Parenthood in a new social context

headshot image of Wei Wei.Wei Wei is professor of Sociology at East China Normal University in Shanghai.

UWL guest lecturer to present ‘Negotiating Lesbian and Gay Parenthood in China’ March 19

Professor of Sociology Wei Wei, of East China Normal University, Shanghai, China, will present “Negotiating Lesbian and Gay Parenthood in China: Individual Agency, Economic Privilege, and Reproductive Justice” at 4 p.m. Monday, March 19, in Hall of Nations, 1300 Centennial Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Wei will share how queer families raising children represents a recent development of increasing LGBT visibility in urban China. This presentation will examine how Chinese lesbian and gay couples pursue and achieve parenthood in a new social context.

Acknowledging the lack of social recognition and institutional supports in participants’ negotiation of queer parenthood, this research focuses on the formation of queer families in relation to state governance in China. Through a critical reading of the study’s participants’ life histories of becoming parents, Wei aims to unfold the linkage between their reproductive practices and various governing logics carried out by the Chinese state — namely, the economic logic of producing a self-made neoliberal subject; the cultural logic of reasserting family-centered values; and the political logic of favoring pragmatism and individual bargaining. Wei argues that the potential of these families to challenge the heteronormative structure has been largely compromised.

About Wei Wei
A professor of Sociology at East China Normal University in Shanghai, Wei’s teaching and research interests include: gender/sexuality, popular culture and qualitative methods, with a focus on identity formation, public space, and community mobilization organized around homosexuality in contemporary Chinese society. In addition to authoring two Chinese books: “Going Public: The Production and Transformation of Queer Spaces in Chengdu,” China (2012) and “Queering Chinese Society: Urban Space, Popular Culture and Social Policy “(2015), he has published more than twenty articles in both English and Chinese peer-reviewed journals, including Culture, Health & Sexuality, Journal of Homosexuality, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Journal of Asian Studies, and Chinese Journal of Sociology.
He was recently featured in a Time Out Beijing article.

The event is sponsored by the UWL College of Liberal Studies Dean’s Office, Pride Center, Transform, International Education and Engagement (IEE), and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department.