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postgraduate thesis: Yoga and master Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings: the practice of self-reflexive projects among forty individuals inlate modern Hong Kong

TitleYoga and master Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings: the practice of self-reflexive projects among forty individuals inlate modern Hong Kong
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Walcher Davidson, P. R. M.. (2012). Yoga and master Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings : the practice of self-reflexive projects among forty individuals in late modern Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5053395
AbstractAs we move further into the 21st century, social observers are increasingly aware of the individual yet collective forms of spiritual practices emerging globally. In this study, I focus on two specific practices, yoga and Buddhism, as framed in the teachings of Master Thich Nhat Hanh, which have significant impacts on individuals in the late modern city of Hong Kong. This research investigates the implications these practices pose for self-identity in late modernity. Using semi-structured, face-to-face, in-depth interviews of forty individuals who have been engaging in these practices in Hong Kong during 2008-2009, I investigate the self-identity of these individuals using Anthony Giddens’ theoretical framework of selfhood. I propose the following questions: (1) How do these individuals respond to the conditions of late modernity in Hong Kong? (2) How do these individuals experience Giddens’ four dilemmas of late modernity (unification versus fragmentation, powerlessness versus appropriation, authority versus uncertainty, personalization versus fragmentation) and in what ways do they cope with these dilemmas? (3) How do these individuals engagement with these practices interact with their life trajectories and manifest the main features of Giddens’ reflexive project (lifestyles and life plans, the pure relationship, the body and self-actualization)? Several findings have emerged from the data that empirically affirm Giddens’ self-reflexivity framework: (1) the self-identity of individuals engaging in yoga and/or Master Thick Nhat Hanh’s teachings is reflexively understood in terms of their personal biographies; (2) from each distinctive biography, individuals use these practices to find a balance of the four dilemmas outlined in Giddens’ theoretical framework, namely, unification versus fragmentation, powerlessness versus appropriation, authority versus uncertainty and personalization versus commoditication; (3) three trajectories emerge from the data: the “healing self”; the “health/exercise self”; and the “lifestyle/re-emerging self.” These patterns show how individuals manage threats to selfhood in a late modern society while finding ways to achieve personal development and increased self-awareness. By empirically testing the applicability of Giddens’ theory through the study of these two mind/body practices in Hong Kong, this research has contributed to the field of modern sociology by: (1) offering an in-depth and systematic qualitative inquiry into practices of spirituality that are undertaken on both the individual and global level, (2) addressing the prevailing research gap by empirically supporting and expanding the utility of Giddens’ self-reflexive project and (3) presenting an accessible analysis of the concepts informing the idea of self-identity and how conditions of late modernity influence this process.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectReflection (Philosophy)
Yoga.
Buddhism.
Dept/ProgramSociology
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/188276

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorKong, TSK-
dc.contributor.advisorLaidler, KA-
dc.contributor.authorWalcher Davidson, Prisca Rossella Mina.-
dc.date.accessioned2013-08-27T08:03:06Z-
dc.date.available2013-08-27T08:03:06Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationWalcher Davidson, P. R. M.. (2012). Yoga and master Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings : the practice of self-reflexive projects among forty individuals in late modern Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5053395-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/188276-
dc.description.abstractAs we move further into the 21st century, social observers are increasingly aware of the individual yet collective forms of spiritual practices emerging globally. In this study, I focus on two specific practices, yoga and Buddhism, as framed in the teachings of Master Thich Nhat Hanh, which have significant impacts on individuals in the late modern city of Hong Kong. This research investigates the implications these practices pose for self-identity in late modernity. Using semi-structured, face-to-face, in-depth interviews of forty individuals who have been engaging in these practices in Hong Kong during 2008-2009, I investigate the self-identity of these individuals using Anthony Giddens’ theoretical framework of selfhood. I propose the following questions: (1) How do these individuals respond to the conditions of late modernity in Hong Kong? (2) How do these individuals experience Giddens’ four dilemmas of late modernity (unification versus fragmentation, powerlessness versus appropriation, authority versus uncertainty, personalization versus fragmentation) and in what ways do they cope with these dilemmas? (3) How do these individuals engagement with these practices interact with their life trajectories and manifest the main features of Giddens’ reflexive project (lifestyles and life plans, the pure relationship, the body and self-actualization)? Several findings have emerged from the data that empirically affirm Giddens’ self-reflexivity framework: (1) the self-identity of individuals engaging in yoga and/or Master Thick Nhat Hanh’s teachings is reflexively understood in terms of their personal biographies; (2) from each distinctive biography, individuals use these practices to find a balance of the four dilemmas outlined in Giddens’ theoretical framework, namely, unification versus fragmentation, powerlessness versus appropriation, authority versus uncertainty and personalization versus commoditication; (3) three trajectories emerge from the data: the “healing self”; the “health/exercise self”; and the “lifestyle/re-emerging self.” These patterns show how individuals manage threats to selfhood in a late modern society while finding ways to achieve personal development and increased self-awareness. By empirically testing the applicability of Giddens’ theory through the study of these two mind/body practices in Hong Kong, this research has contributed to the field of modern sociology by: (1) offering an in-depth and systematic qualitative inquiry into practices of spirituality that are undertaken on both the individual and global level, (2) addressing the prevailing research gap by empirically supporting and expanding the utility of Giddens’ self-reflexive project and (3) presenting an accessible analysis of the concepts informing the idea of self-identity and how conditions of late modernity influence this process.-
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/B50533952-
dc.subject.lcshReflection (Philosophy)-
dc.subject.lcshYoga.-
dc.subject.lcshBuddhism.-
dc.titleYoga and master Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings: the practice of self-reflexive projects among forty individuals inlate modern Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5053395-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSociology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5053395-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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