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Article: Identity politics and its discontents: contesting cultural imaginaries in contemporary Hong Kong

TitleIdentity politics and its discontents: contesting cultural imaginaries in contemporary Hong Kong
Authors
KeywordsLiterature
Issue Date2006
PublisherRoutledge. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/1369801X.asp
Citation
Interventions, 2006, v. 8 n. 2, p. 253-275 How to Cite?
AbstractThis essay examines an ironic situation in the use of postcolonial identity politics in contemporary Hong Kong cultural studies, in which the postcolonial cultural politics that criticizes the marginalization of Hong Kong people by Eurocentrism and Sinocentrism has also allowed newly empowered Hong Kong constituencies to use the same cultural politics as a strategy to assert dominance in ethnocentric and racist terms. Postcolonialism has so far focused on the poststructuralist critique of cultural misrepresentations while neglecting most of the structural inequalities beyond the cultural realm. What we need from postcolonialism is not just a differential identity politics useful in subverting cultural hegemonies ad infinitum. We also need an effective engagement with the quotidian effects of colonial legacies affecting people in and beyond the cultural realm. As one such attempt, this essay evaluates the critical potency of four prominent and contesting analytical frames in Hong Kong cultural studies by contextualizing their operations in a translocal context. I discuss Rey Chow's postulation of Hong Kong as the marginalized entity in between two colonizers, Britain and China. Posed against this discourse is what I call a petit-grandiose Hong Kongism, a kind of inferiority-superiority response to Hong Kong's multiple colonial experiences, both British and Chinese. The notion of Hong Kong's relation to China in terms of Hong Kong's ‘Northbound Cultural Imaginary’ is then examined. This refers to Hong Kong's mainstream cultural imaginary that posits its claim to cosmopolitanism as a justification for an implied economic and cultural expansion towards China. This cultural imaginary is justified by another Hong Kong mainstream cultural imaginary, one which sees China as a national, economic and cultural threat expanding towards Hong Kong to the south. I call this Hong Kong's imagined China ‘Southbound Cultural Imaginary’.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/72055
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 0.31
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.130

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorSzeto, MMen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-09-06T06:37:58Z-
dc.date.available2010-09-06T06:37:58Z-
dc.date.issued2006en_HK
dc.identifier.citationInterventions, 2006, v. 8 n. 2, p. 253-275en_HK
dc.identifier.issn1369-801X-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/72055-
dc.description.abstractThis essay examines an ironic situation in the use of postcolonial identity politics in contemporary Hong Kong cultural studies, in which the postcolonial cultural politics that criticizes the marginalization of Hong Kong people by Eurocentrism and Sinocentrism has also allowed newly empowered Hong Kong constituencies to use the same cultural politics as a strategy to assert dominance in ethnocentric and racist terms. Postcolonialism has so far focused on the poststructuralist critique of cultural misrepresentations while neglecting most of the structural inequalities beyond the cultural realm. What we need from postcolonialism is not just a differential identity politics useful in subverting cultural hegemonies ad infinitum. We also need an effective engagement with the quotidian effects of colonial legacies affecting people in and beyond the cultural realm. As one such attempt, this essay evaluates the critical potency of four prominent and contesting analytical frames in Hong Kong cultural studies by contextualizing their operations in a translocal context. I discuss Rey Chow's postulation of Hong Kong as the marginalized entity in between two colonizers, Britain and China. Posed against this discourse is what I call a petit-grandiose Hong Kongism, a kind of inferiority-superiority response to Hong Kong's multiple colonial experiences, both British and Chinese. The notion of Hong Kong's relation to China in terms of Hong Kong's ‘Northbound Cultural Imaginary’ is then examined. This refers to Hong Kong's mainstream cultural imaginary that posits its claim to cosmopolitanism as a justification for an implied economic and cultural expansion towards China. This cultural imaginary is justified by another Hong Kong mainstream cultural imaginary, one which sees China as a national, economic and cultural threat expanding towards Hong Kong to the south. I call this Hong Kong's imagined China ‘Southbound Cultural Imaginary’.-
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherRoutledge. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/1369801X.asp-
dc.relation.ispartofInterventionsen_HK
dc.subjectLiterature-
dc.titleIdentity politics and its discontents: contesting cultural imaginaries in contemporary Hong Kongen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=1369-801X&volume=8&issue=2&spage=253&epage=275&date=2006&atitle=Identity+politics+and+its+discontents:+contesting+cultural+imaginaries+in+contemporary+Hong+Kong-
dc.identifier.emailSzeto, MM: mmszeto@hkucc.hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authoritySzeto, MM=rp01180en_HK
dc.identifier.doi10.1080/13698010600782006-
dc.identifier.hkuros168145en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros125883-
dc.identifier.volume8-
dc.identifier.issue2-
dc.identifier.spage253-
dc.identifier.epage275-
dc.identifier.citeulike775107-

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