Youth politics in HK

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Youth politics in HK

  1. 1. Wai-Kwok Benson WongHKBU > GIS2012/10/19Youth policy in Hong Kong: Tornbetween Trust & Manipulation?
  2. 2. Outline1. Rationale behind the proposed topic: Empiricaland conceptual facets2. Nature of youth policy3. Brief literature review4. Nature of local youth policy5. Concluding remarks2
  3. 3. Rationale1. Emerging the post-80(90)s generation• Major social movements/campaigns: anti-HSR rally Scholarism against the enforcement of NationalEducation as a subject at school level• Deviant with the mainstream media’s discourse ofconstructing the reality of local young generation• Less competitiveness, politically and sociallyapathetic, consumerism• “poisonous boy” (毒男)  “god” (男神)3
  4. 4. Rationale2. Marginalization of youth policy in policydiscourse Not influential comparing withe.g., labor, education, housing, HK’s integration withChina Youth policy is not working for the youth, but for thegov’t & capitalists “Controversial” issues surrounding youth policy’sdomain are defined, selected & constructed NOT bythe youth – Housing, Education, (Un)-employment, (National) identity4
  5. 5. Social reconstruction of the youthpolicy Youth = socially/politically marginalized, likewomen, minority, the poor? No subjectivity Material needs: livelihood’s issues Instrumental: serve the defined purposes designedand enforced by state Youth’s voice: Who represents the young people?How to represent them? How representative ofsuch representatives? Why are they represented?5
  6. 6. “Representation” as “participation”1. How such representatives are located andabsorbed? – What are the criteria of being locatedand absorbed?2. How such absorbed and coopted participants knowabout the youth? In what capacity do they knowabout the youth?3. How does the youth approach them so that suchcoopted participants virtually know their voice andexpress faithfully in the policy mechanism?4. How and how far do such coopted participantsaccountable to e.g., the public, notably the youth?6
  7. 7. Nature Collective term Muti- & trans-dimensional issues which can beinterrelated (un-)employment, education, (national)identity, housing, social welfare, social mobility Social (livelihood) > political(participation, engagement) issues Positioning & engagement of the youth in policyconsultation, formulation & in decision-making7
  8. 8. Literature reviewA. Policy content Prevention: helping the youth to manage thesocietal changes/transitional needs (PolicyResearch Initiative, 2010; Youth Policy inLuxembourg, 2002) Identity: Redefining the role & responsibility of theyouth in society (Youth Policy – Here & How, 2005) Securing basic needs & protection:employment, education, socialsecurity, housing, criminal justice, civil & family law(Youth Policies in the UK, 2002)8
  9. 9. Literature reviewB. Participation: Engagement throughmechanisms, e.g., council, forum, school; bylegislation Bottom-up, NOT top-down approach Shaping agenda-setting, apart from decision-making process Empowerment(Youth Policy – Here and Now, 2005)9
  10. 10. HK’s Youth Policy 2 pro-government reports: HK Youth Politics (byHK Policy Research Institute & HK YouthCouncil, 1997) & Submission of HK Youth Policy(by HK United Youth Association, 1998) Policy discourse: Context: China-HK integration, China as a hub ofopportunities Identity: Youth, based on the adults’expectation, should be competitive, adaptive andsubmissive Power relationships: unequal, top-down, imposition10
  11. 11. HKYDC:Pro-BJ organization?11
  12. 12. HKYDC12
  13. 13. HKYDC13
  14. 14. Instrumental, socially constructed14
  15. 15. The “ideal” type of the youth Quality: Physical/mental Moral Intellectual: leadership, adaptive Values: Personal Social National Global Knowledge & skills15
  16. 16. HKSYC16
  17. 17. “Irrelevant” questions from surveysdone by HKYDC1. Do you believe that HK will continue to bestable & prosperous?2. Do you believe that “1 country 2 systems” willbe successfully implemented in HK?3. The estimation of the situation after 199717
  18. 18. HK United Youth Association18
  19. 19. Political infiltration19
  20. 20. Activity20
  21. 21. HKUYA21
  22. 22. Interesting remarks1. United front of the youth: cultivating the patron-client relations2. Material attractions and future prospects as wellas social and professional networking being asthe driving force of exercising manipulation3. Trust is illusionary, taking advantages are ofsalience (coopted young: privileges andnetworking; state: pro-establishmentsupporters)4. Prevalence of cynicism: “I pretend to besubmissive and loyal to you; and you pretend tobe trustful and supportive of me”22
  23. 23. Conclusion Youth policy without youth participation &engagement In the official stance, youth policy aims To serve the political needs: New generation withnational identity, supporting the regime To follow the guidance and framework imposed bythe powerful to survive and mobilize To serve the capitalists so as to be more capableinstrument maintaining and sustaining the existingsystem To help the youth being adaptive and flexible infacing the context23
  24. 24. ConclusionResistance: The power of the powerless24

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