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Umbrella Movement and Hong Kong Identity

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How identity has been in impact during the course and aftermath of the movement

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Umbrella Movement and Hong Kong Identity

  1. 1. Umbrella Movement: Hong Kong Identity Wai-Kwok Benson Wong @ GIS, HKBU March 19, 2015
  2. 2. Contextualizing Hong Kong Identity • Local identity (Bentu rentong): versus national identity – inclusion & exclusion • As an energy and a discourse in justifying the action • E.g., campaigns of recovering Sheung Shui, Tuen Mun, Tai Po… • Influence of the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan – resist the China factor (Wu Jieh-min, 2012) • The KMT under Ma Ying-jeou’s administration: economic and political dependence on Mainland China  pro-Beijing business & commercial force as the de facto PRC’s agenda in Taiwan  undermine freedom, democracy and human rights • E.g., “Save our own nation” [~Fuck the government] 2
  3. 3. Visualizing local identity via protests We/self = HK people vs. HKSARG + PRC 3
  4. 4. Redefining local identity: Lion Rock Spirit Challenging & altering the Hegemonic claim: hardworking, diligence, self-help (Antony Leung) (due to exploitation)  Persistence & genuineness despite suppression 4
  5. 5. Challenging & resisting nationalistic hegemony China Hong Kong Economic city, economic animals Political aspiration, political activism Integration & dependence for future & opportunities Erosion of political & living space, re- colonization, disappearance Loving China (=CCP), loving HK Resisting the brainwashing, indoctrination & culture of fakes/lies Harmony, rule of law Suppression, rule by law, institutional decay (e.g., ICAC, police) Without PRC, without HK: water & food supply, CEPA, visitors Without HK, without PRC: financial functions of HK; water & food supply & are NOT free of charge; genuine products attract visitors Dominance, control, manipulation, dependence Self-determination, autonomy, independence Universal suffrage & full democracy after 2017 De facto authoritarianism & sham democracy 5
  6. 6. 3 analytic dimensions of identity (Bernstein, 1997) Dimension Particulars Identity for empowerment (E) • Draw on an existing identity • Construct a new collective identity • Create and mobilize a constituency • Implications for future activism Identity as goal (G) • Challenge stigmatized identities • Deconstruct restrictive social categories • Seek recognition for new identities Identity as strategy (S) • Identity deployment: use mainstream culture in a creative or critical way • Identity for critique: confront the values, categories and practice of the dominating culture • Identity for education: challenge the dominant culture’s perception / used strategically to gain legitimacy by playing on uncontroversial themes 6
  7. 7. 3 analytic dimensions of local identity Dimension Particulars Identity for empowerment (E) • Lion Rock Spirit: personal diligence  political aspiration • Reproducing the cultural objects for genuine universal suffrage • Self-determination of destiny Identity as goal (G) • Challenge the national/China identity: dominance, hegemony, exclusion • Challenge the political & economic dependence on China • Local identity: space, interest, community, discourse, power, youth Identity as strategy (S) • Identity deployment: Lion Rock Spirit • Identity for critique: hardworking & diligence are misleading in face of the incompetent & undemocratic government • Identity for education: defending our community as well as dialect, resisting the mainland China influence, taking action to recapture our future; challenging economic development that is only an excuse to cover up the dependence & hegemony 7

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