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postgraduate thesis: Negotiating Hong Kong identity in the post-80s generation

TitleNegotiating Hong Kong identity in the post-80s generation
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Kok, Y. [郭婉嫻]. (2014). Negotiating Hong Kong identity in the post-80s generation. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5481908
AbstractHong Kong identity has always been a complicated subject due to its colonial past and ongoing integration with China. Recently, the escalated social and cultural contentions between a group frequently called the Post-80s and the Mainland Chinese have reiterated the identity crisis in Hong Kong. The Post-80s, generally referring to people who were born after 1980, are believed to have grown up in a different social context from their previous generations. Having encountered the political transition from the British to the Chinese in their critical period, this generation has exposed to a renationalised discourse after the handover. With the national framework provided by the government and some of the media, it shall be expected that the Post-80s would be less resistant, if not uncritical, to the Chinese regime. Yet, the active involvement of some of the Post-80s activists in recent anti-China movements seemed to suggest another story. While studies and book publications have extensively covered the view of the Post-80s social activists, an in-depth understanding of how the ordinary Post-80s perceive their local and national identification is missing. It is, therefore, the purpose of this study to capture their perception, valorisation and daily enactment of Hong Kong and Chinese identity. Adhering closely to the social constructivist perspective, the thesis depicted both the features and identity negotiation process of the ordinary Post-80s based on data collected from 17 semi-structured interviews. Findings of the research revolve around 3 analytical levels, namely 1) nominal, 2) meaning making and 3) everyday encounter. This helps to classify the heterogeneous responses from the Post-80s into four types. Based on their subjective perceptions, attitudes and rationale towards Hong Kong and China, their identifications can be divided into antagonistic, partial inclusive, active inclusive and indifferent. For individuals in the antagonistic group, concrete examples of cultural difference found between Hong Kong and China form a strong basis for their physical and psychological disassociation from the nation. Although some of the Post-80s interviewees identify themselves nominally as both Hongkonger and Chinese, they do not share the same rationale. Some consider themselves as Chinese due to undeniable historical and cultural ties to the nation while the others actively embrace the concept of “One China” without detaching from the political and cultural controversies found in contemporary China. In addition, small amount of the interviewees deny the importance of using Hong Kong and China identification to define themselves as a person. This, however, does not imply a general lack of attention or views to information and incidences related to Hong Kong-China relationship. Through a detail depiction of the formation and transformation process of the ordinary Post-80s, it is found that the role played by former prominent social agents, for example, education and traditional media, in shaping people’s identification is no longer straight forward. Although the research, with limited sampling size, does not stand in an appropriate position to suggest any correlation between social agents and one’s identity, there are traces showing more complicated negotiations undergone by the Post-80s, which is worth to be explored in-depth in future studies.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
SubjectEthnicity - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramSociology
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/211118

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorKok, Yuen-han-
dc.contributor.author郭婉嫻-
dc.date.accessioned2015-07-07T23:10:41Z-
dc.date.available2015-07-07T23:10:41Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationKok, Y. [郭婉嫻]. (2014). Negotiating Hong Kong identity in the post-80s generation. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5481908-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/211118-
dc.description.abstractHong Kong identity has always been a complicated subject due to its colonial past and ongoing integration with China. Recently, the escalated social and cultural contentions between a group frequently called the Post-80s and the Mainland Chinese have reiterated the identity crisis in Hong Kong. The Post-80s, generally referring to people who were born after 1980, are believed to have grown up in a different social context from their previous generations. Having encountered the political transition from the British to the Chinese in their critical period, this generation has exposed to a renationalised discourse after the handover. With the national framework provided by the government and some of the media, it shall be expected that the Post-80s would be less resistant, if not uncritical, to the Chinese regime. Yet, the active involvement of some of the Post-80s activists in recent anti-China movements seemed to suggest another story. While studies and book publications have extensively covered the view of the Post-80s social activists, an in-depth understanding of how the ordinary Post-80s perceive their local and national identification is missing. It is, therefore, the purpose of this study to capture their perception, valorisation and daily enactment of Hong Kong and Chinese identity. Adhering closely to the social constructivist perspective, the thesis depicted both the features and identity negotiation process of the ordinary Post-80s based on data collected from 17 semi-structured interviews. Findings of the research revolve around 3 analytical levels, namely 1) nominal, 2) meaning making and 3) everyday encounter. This helps to classify the heterogeneous responses from the Post-80s into four types. Based on their subjective perceptions, attitudes and rationale towards Hong Kong and China, their identifications can be divided into antagonistic, partial inclusive, active inclusive and indifferent. For individuals in the antagonistic group, concrete examples of cultural difference found between Hong Kong and China form a strong basis for their physical and psychological disassociation from the nation. Although some of the Post-80s interviewees identify themselves nominally as both Hongkonger and Chinese, they do not share the same rationale. Some consider themselves as Chinese due to undeniable historical and cultural ties to the nation while the others actively embrace the concept of “One China” without detaching from the political and cultural controversies found in contemporary China. In addition, small amount of the interviewees deny the importance of using Hong Kong and China identification to define themselves as a person. This, however, does not imply a general lack of attention or views to information and incidences related to Hong Kong-China relationship. Through a detail depiction of the formation and transformation process of the ordinary Post-80s, it is found that the role played by former prominent social agents, for example, education and traditional media, in shaping people’s identification is no longer straight forward. Although the research, with limited sampling size, does not stand in an appropriate position to suggest any correlation between social agents and one’s identity, there are traces showing more complicated negotiations undergone by the Post-80s, which is worth to be explored in-depth in future studies.-
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.subject.lcshEthnicity - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleNegotiating Hong Kong identity in the post-80s generation-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5481908-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSociology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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