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postgraduate thesis: Post-90s Hong Kong girl activists and their struggles for recognition

TitlePost-90s Hong Kong girl activists and their struggles for recognition
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Ho, PSY
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Abstract At present, adolescent girls in Hong Kong face increasing pressure from society as most adults believe these girls are rebellious, promiscuous, apathetic, and dependent. In order to examine these claims, this study explores the following: 1) ‘Post-90s’ girls’ perceptions about themselves and the labels ‘Post-80s’ and ‘Post-90s’; 2) how they participate in social movements to redefine their identities as daughters, students, young women, and Hong Kong citizens; 3) their family relationship and their strategies to manage family expectations; and 4) their experiences in the social movements they join, and the effects of their participation on their social and personal lives. I adopt the post-structuralist feminist perspective to explore six girl activists’ agency, life choices, and strategies in managing their relationships within their families, schools, and communities. I follow the interpretivist constructivist approach in examining the process by which these girls give meanings to their practices and personal relationships. I employ methods such as focus group, participant observation, and in-depth interviews to explore their desires, need for social recognition, and life constraints. The results reveal that girl activists want autonomy from their parents. They need their teachers and schoolmates to appreciate their non-academic achievements. They crave society’s acknowledgment of their non-economic contributions in mobilising social change and the cultural values of local cultural heritages and natural landscapes. In the social movements, they want to make new friends who share their visions about social development. They also wish to learn new skills and knowledge from the movements and be able to use them in their daily lives. There are four main interpersonal strategies that the girls employ to manage their personal relationships: 1) they negotiate, 2) deploy alternative identities, 3) make media exposure, and 4) become pioneers to educate their parents, teachers, and schoolmates. They also employ other strategies to mobilise social movements (including the use of cosplay, arts, and alternative media exposure) and draw people’s attention to the causes that concern them. Thus, I argue that the post-90s girl activists distinguish themselves from the ‘Kong Nui’. They believe that Kong Nuis are indifferent to social issues, are uninterested in politics and activism, and would rather focus on consuming branded products. To distinguish themselves from the Kong Nuis, the post-90s girl activists adopt alternative lifestyles (e.g., becoming farmers) and unconventional attitudes towards social development. They are aware that mainstream people regard them as awkward, and they do feel frustrated about being belittled. Nevertheless, they are happy if they can enlighten other people about socio-political injustices in Hong Kong and finding alternative lifestyles. This research has three major contributions. It identifies various ways for young women to make themselves young women icons. It also discusses the new social problems that concern the girl activists, including government-business collusion and ‘property hegemony’. It also demonstrates that, apart from sexual, affective and material desires, teenage girls also need social recognition. Girl activists struggle to be recognised as full members in their families, schools, communities and Hong Kong society by actively participating in social movements.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectTeenage girls - China - Hong Kong - Social conditions.
Teenage girls - Political activity - China - Hong Kong.
Dept/ProgramSocial Work and Social Administration

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorHo, PSY-
dc.contributor.authorSham, Priscilla.-
dc.contributor.author沈蔚.-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.description.abstract At present, adolescent girls in Hong Kong face increasing pressure from society as most adults believe these girls are rebellious, promiscuous, apathetic, and dependent. In order to examine these claims, this study explores the following: 1) ‘Post-90s’ girls’ perceptions about themselves and the labels ‘Post-80s’ and ‘Post-90s’; 2) how they participate in social movements to redefine their identities as daughters, students, young women, and Hong Kong citizens; 3) their family relationship and their strategies to manage family expectations; and 4) their experiences in the social movements they join, and the effects of their participation on their social and personal lives. I adopt the post-structuralist feminist perspective to explore six girl activists’ agency, life choices, and strategies in managing their relationships within their families, schools, and communities. I follow the interpretivist constructivist approach in examining the process by which these girls give meanings to their practices and personal relationships. I employ methods such as focus group, participant observation, and in-depth interviews to explore their desires, need for social recognition, and life constraints. The results reveal that girl activists want autonomy from their parents. They need their teachers and schoolmates to appreciate their non-academic achievements. They crave society’s acknowledgment of their non-economic contributions in mobilising social change and the cultural values of local cultural heritages and natural landscapes. In the social movements, they want to make new friends who share their visions about social development. They also wish to learn new skills and knowledge from the movements and be able to use them in their daily lives. There are four main interpersonal strategies that the girls employ to manage their personal relationships: 1) they negotiate, 2) deploy alternative identities, 3) make media exposure, and 4) become pioneers to educate their parents, teachers, and schoolmates. They also employ other strategies to mobilise social movements (including the use of cosplay, arts, and alternative media exposure) and draw people’s attention to the causes that concern them. Thus, I argue that the post-90s girl activists distinguish themselves from the ‘Kong Nui’. They believe that Kong Nuis are indifferent to social issues, are uninterested in politics and activism, and would rather focus on consuming branded products. To distinguish themselves from the Kong Nuis, the post-90s girl activists adopt alternative lifestyles (e.g., becoming farmers) and unconventional attitudes towards social development. They are aware that mainstream people regard them as awkward, and they do feel frustrated about being belittled. Nevertheless, they are happy if they can enlighten other people about socio-political injustices in Hong Kong and finding alternative lifestyles. This research has three major contributions. It identifies various ways for young women to make themselves young women icons. It also discusses the new social problems that concern the girl activists, including government-business collusion and ‘property hegemony’. It also demonstrates that, apart from sexual, affective and material desires, teenage girls also need social recognition. Girl activists struggle to be recognised as full members in their families, schools, communities and Hong Kong society by actively participating in social movements.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B4833022X-
dc.subject.lcshTeenage girls - China - Hong Kong - Social conditions.-
dc.subject.lcshTeenage girls - Political activity - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.titlePost-90s Hong Kong girl activists and their struggles for recognition-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4833022-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSocial Work and Social Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4833022-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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