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postgraduate thesis: Prayers, press, protest, and practice : police praxis in Hong Kong

TitlePrayers, press, protest, and practice : police praxis in Hong Kong
Authors
Issue Date2016
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Brown, G. A.. (2016). Prayers, press, protest, and practice : police praxis in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractThe Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) finds itself in the paradoxical situation of continuing to police Hong Kong in a manner similar to its Anglo-American counterparts, despite ultimately heading towards almost inevitable absorption into the People’s Republic of China’s public security apparatus in July 2047, and a totalitarian policing system whose practices appear far removed from those in the Anglo-American world. Given China’s rise to power on the world stage, Hong Kong’s position as one of the world’s most important financial centres, and international concern about what happened throughout Hong Kong’s pro-democracy occupy protests in 2014, how the HKPF is policing contemporary Hong Kong in this paradoxical situation remains a matter of local, regional, and international interest. This thesis has qualitatively, empirically, and organisationally examined the HKPF’s contemporary policing practices from Peter Manning’s dramaturgical perspective, conducting 41 semi-structured interviews with purposively selected senior police officers responsible for the delivery and management of frontline policing, and ethnographic observations of street-level policing and protest policing over five months and two-and-a-half years respectively. The data acquired was analysed using Framework, an interpretative and thematic method of qualitative analysis that the National Centre for Social Research developed in England. Given the limited research conducted into the HKPF and contemporary policing in Hong Kong, this thesis sheds light on a number of hitherto unexplored or under researched areas in how it operates, including the impact of senior police commanders’ inspectorial and leadership functions on frontline policing; the relationship between the police force and traditional media; the use and misuse of social media, and the problems social media is causing the HKPF and its personnel; contemporary protest policing practice; problematic police recordkeeping; overuse of stop and search; and the management-led nature of community policing in Hong Kong. Significant dramaturgical findings related to impression management suggest that the HKPF has experienced two difficulties in presenting a credible public narrative to counter its negative portrayal in traditional and social media. The first indicates that the HKPF has not considered how their external public audiences might negatively interpret police actions, which seem legitimate and reasonable from a purely operational policing perspective. The second focuses on the HKPF’s apparent reluctance to promptly communicate with the media, especially social media, within a short time of major newsworthy incidents taking place, and not realising that in a world where social media provides real-time information on a 24/7 basis, the police force’s over reliance on formal news conferences held much later, allows others to erroneously define what the police do and why. Another significant finding revealed that facilitation of peaceful protest through negotiated management is the HKPF’s default position on protest policing, responding situationally and proportionately when participants take untoward actions, rather than targeting them because of who they support or the views they hold. (462 words)
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectPolice power - Hong Kong - China
Dept/ProgramSociology
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/241430
HKU Library Item IDb5864166

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorBrown, Gavin Andrew-
dc.date.accessioned2017-06-13T02:07:51Z-
dc.date.available2017-06-13T02:07:51Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationBrown, G. A.. (2016). Prayers, press, protest, and practice : police praxis in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/241430-
dc.description.abstractThe Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) finds itself in the paradoxical situation of continuing to police Hong Kong in a manner similar to its Anglo-American counterparts, despite ultimately heading towards almost inevitable absorption into the People’s Republic of China’s public security apparatus in July 2047, and a totalitarian policing system whose practices appear far removed from those in the Anglo-American world. Given China’s rise to power on the world stage, Hong Kong’s position as one of the world’s most important financial centres, and international concern about what happened throughout Hong Kong’s pro-democracy occupy protests in 2014, how the HKPF is policing contemporary Hong Kong in this paradoxical situation remains a matter of local, regional, and international interest. This thesis has qualitatively, empirically, and organisationally examined the HKPF’s contemporary policing practices from Peter Manning’s dramaturgical perspective, conducting 41 semi-structured interviews with purposively selected senior police officers responsible for the delivery and management of frontline policing, and ethnographic observations of street-level policing and protest policing over five months and two-and-a-half years respectively. The data acquired was analysed using Framework, an interpretative and thematic method of qualitative analysis that the National Centre for Social Research developed in England. Given the limited research conducted into the HKPF and contemporary policing in Hong Kong, this thesis sheds light on a number of hitherto unexplored or under researched areas in how it operates, including the impact of senior police commanders’ inspectorial and leadership functions on frontline policing; the relationship between the police force and traditional media; the use and misuse of social media, and the problems social media is causing the HKPF and its personnel; contemporary protest policing practice; problematic police recordkeeping; overuse of stop and search; and the management-led nature of community policing in Hong Kong. Significant dramaturgical findings related to impression management suggest that the HKPF has experienced two difficulties in presenting a credible public narrative to counter its negative portrayal in traditional and social media. The first indicates that the HKPF has not considered how their external public audiences might negatively interpret police actions, which seem legitimate and reasonable from a purely operational policing perspective. The second focuses on the HKPF’s apparent reluctance to promptly communicate with the media, especially social media, within a short time of major newsworthy incidents taking place, and not realising that in a world where social media provides real-time information on a 24/7 basis, the police force’s over reliance on formal news conferences held much later, allows others to erroneously define what the police do and why. Another significant finding revealed that facilitation of peaceful protest through negotiated management is the HKPF’s default position on protest policing, responding situationally and proportionately when participants take untoward actions, rather than targeting them because of who they support or the views they hold. (462 words) -
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.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshPolice power - Hong Kong - China-
dc.titlePrayers, press, protest, and practice : police praxis in Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5864166-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSociology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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