The Three Epochs of Hong Kong Lolita Subculture: Cultural Hybridization and Identity Construction

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Authors:
Shuk-fan Fanny Wong, Senior Instructor, University of Macau
Wai-sum Amy Lee, Associate Professor, Hong Kong Baptist University
Email: [email protected]
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijcs.6.1.05

Citation: Wong, S. F., & Lee, W. S. (2021). The Three Epochs of Hong Kong Lolita Subculture: Cultural Hybridization and Identity Construction. IAFOR Journal of Cultural Studies, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijcs.6.1.05


Abstract

Lolita is identified as a female oriented subculture phenomenon which came about in the 1990s in Harajuku, Japan. Youths in Hong Kong, because culturally and geographically in close proximity to Japan, will usually adapt their neighboring city Tokyo’s cultural movements. This paper explores the development, meaning, significance of Lolita phenomena in Hong Kong from the postmodern historical and socio-cultural points of view. By assembling and examining the ethnographic data from face-to-face interviewees and materials from online resources between 2014 and 2017, we reviewed and proposed that there are three major epochs of Lolita subculture development in Hong Kong. The study concludes that the changes in online practices over the past two decades lead to the transformation of Lolita identity within the group. It also indicates that the development of Hong Kong Lolita subculture shows a positive impact of cultural hybridization. Moreover, through the active practice on virtual platforms, the group creates an imagined community for the participants to share their beliefs and dreams freely.

Keywords

cultural hybridization, gender performance, Hong Kong Lolita, personal identity, subculture, subcultural history