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postgraduate thesis: From craftsman to citizen : the career of local CSSA mothers

TitleFrom craftsman to citizen : the career of local CSSA mothers
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Li, H. C. [李灝麟]. (2014). From craftsman to citizen : the career of local CSSA mothers. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5435648
AbstractPoverty management has been institutionalized in affluent societies. Individuals are less vulnerable to starvation, but it does not mean they are exempt from plight. The issue of respect and recognition is high on the agenda. Poverty amidst plenty arouses suspicion and incites hostility. Civil inequality makes a place inhospitable. In this regard, I wish to revitalize the poverty debate by working on two key concepts: craftsmanship and citizenship. We can see craftsman and citizen in local Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) mothers, in particular in the career and life history of them. Craftsmanship describes a fundamental impulse in humanity: the desire to do a job well for its own sake. A craftsman aims to get better rather than get by or get ahead. Life adds up when practiced as a craft. Citizenship is concerned about human association: how should we live together? Of particular note is the virtue of citizens. To make sense of their orientation to act, I approach citizenship as lived practice. These two sentiments are aptly tracked down from life history analysis, studying individuals as a process of social becoming. The key is to identify social gateways, in the forms of significant events and encounters, leading to social innovation. My investigation witnesses the making of a career of respect. For CSSA mothers, the starting point is located in a life crisis. All felicity wish is misfired; their lives sink into victimization. To lift them out of this state, it requires an awakening. The small voice of a child may make a magic. This hints at the situational imperatives of parenthood, which is often the key to revive a soul. The welfare of their children cries out for a halt in self-pity. Mothers respond by making a baby step, venturing into unfamiliar territories and trying out new things. Chances are that they will be in touch with expert systems against the backdrop of the institutionalization of poverty management. Government bureaucracies and NGOs from civil society especially come to their aid. Apart from professionals, ordinary folk, like a community of women, can be sociable experts. Together, they boost reflexivity, resourcefulness, and resilience. Greater transformation takes place in an enabling social space. Of exceptional significance is the transcendence from the smaller “I” in isolation to the bigger “we” whose future belongs to a common project. Three types of crafted citizens are identified. The metaphors of kangaroos, beavers, and watchdogs are used to give credit to their contributions to parenting, community building, and policy campaign respectively. In the end, three lessons are drawn. The first campaigns for social space at the meso level that is proven to contribute a great deal to the career of respect. The second addresses the issue of care by advocating a universal caregiver model. The third puts forward a new welfare contract to cope with public legitimacy about CSSA. These lessons concern us all if what matters to us are human flourishing, gender equity, and solidarity.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectPoverty - China - Hong Kong
Welfare recipients - Social aspects - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramSociology
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/209601

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLi, Ho-lun, Collin-
dc.contributor.author李灝麟-
dc.date.accessioned2015-05-06T23:13:42Z-
dc.date.available2015-05-06T23:13:42Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationLi, H. C. [李灝麟]. (2014). From craftsman to citizen : the career of local CSSA mothers. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5435648-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/209601-
dc.description.abstractPoverty management has been institutionalized in affluent societies. Individuals are less vulnerable to starvation, but it does not mean they are exempt from plight. The issue of respect and recognition is high on the agenda. Poverty amidst plenty arouses suspicion and incites hostility. Civil inequality makes a place inhospitable. In this regard, I wish to revitalize the poverty debate by working on two key concepts: craftsmanship and citizenship. We can see craftsman and citizen in local Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) mothers, in particular in the career and life history of them. Craftsmanship describes a fundamental impulse in humanity: the desire to do a job well for its own sake. A craftsman aims to get better rather than get by or get ahead. Life adds up when practiced as a craft. Citizenship is concerned about human association: how should we live together? Of particular note is the virtue of citizens. To make sense of their orientation to act, I approach citizenship as lived practice. These two sentiments are aptly tracked down from life history analysis, studying individuals as a process of social becoming. The key is to identify social gateways, in the forms of significant events and encounters, leading to social innovation. My investigation witnesses the making of a career of respect. For CSSA mothers, the starting point is located in a life crisis. All felicity wish is misfired; their lives sink into victimization. To lift them out of this state, it requires an awakening. The small voice of a child may make a magic. This hints at the situational imperatives of parenthood, which is often the key to revive a soul. The welfare of their children cries out for a halt in self-pity. Mothers respond by making a baby step, venturing into unfamiliar territories and trying out new things. Chances are that they will be in touch with expert systems against the backdrop of the institutionalization of poverty management. Government bureaucracies and NGOs from civil society especially come to their aid. Apart from professionals, ordinary folk, like a community of women, can be sociable experts. Together, they boost reflexivity, resourcefulness, and resilience. Greater transformation takes place in an enabling social space. Of exceptional significance is the transcendence from the smaller “I” in isolation to the bigger “we” whose future belongs to a common project. Three types of crafted citizens are identified. The metaphors of kangaroos, beavers, and watchdogs are used to give credit to their contributions to parenting, community building, and policy campaign respectively. In the end, three lessons are drawn. The first campaigns for social space at the meso level that is proven to contribute a great deal to the career of respect. The second addresses the issue of care by advocating a universal caregiver model. The third puts forward a new welfare contract to cope with public legitimacy about CSSA. These lessons concern us all if what matters to us are human flourishing, gender equity, and solidarity.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshPoverty - China - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshWelfare recipients - Social aspects - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleFrom craftsman to citizen : the career of local CSSA mothers-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5435648-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSociology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5435648-

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