The Making of “Hongkongers” : A Study of Post-Secondary Students’ Collective Identity

Research output: Scholarly Books, Monographs, Reports and Case StudiesRGC 48 - Consulting or contract research reportpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
PublisherPolicy Innovation and Co-ordination Office The Government of the HKSAR
Number of pages146
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2021

Abstract

This study is an archival research. Through primarily making use of various types of publications which university students published between 2010 and 2020, we traced their articulation of a collective identity. From June 2019, the term “Hongkongers” has been frequently used as a slogan in the “Hong Kong Anti-Extradition Bill” protests. Serving as an ideological banner, “Hongkongers” evokes a search for a collective identity and an action plan for creating something bigger, more grandiose than expressing political views. If indeed “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our times” is the ultimate goal of the protest movement, then the goal must be achieved through the escalation of violence encapsulated—explicitly and forcefully—in the constant call to “fight, Hongkongers,” “rebel, Hongkongers,” and “revenge, Hongkongers.” What underpins these calls to action is a collective identity, “Hongkongers,” shared by protesters young and old, man and woman, rich and poor, educated and uneducated. The protesters see this collective identity as what has driven the protest movement from a peaceful demonstration into violent street fights, when the government fails to respond to their “five demands” and the police use force to suppress their protests. Thus, it is of great importance to investigate how the term “Hongkongers” has been used in the protests, and what role it plays as a symbol of political participation, mass mobilization, and the politicization of everyday life. Focusing on the post-secondary students in the eight public universities, this study examines the evolution of university-educated youth’s local versus national identity and the social movements since 2010 are inter-related. While these social movements and their aftermath affect the way university-educated youth articulate their Hong Kong identity; their roles, actions and orientations in these movements also affect the way these social movements evolve over time, which in turn shape the collective identity of the young generation of Hong Kong.

Citation Format(s)

The Making of “Hongkongers”: A Study of Post-Secondary Students’ Collective Identity. / CHAN, Hok Yin.
Policy Innovation and Co-ordination Office The Government of the HKSAR , 2021. 146 p.

Research output: Scholarly Books, Monographs, Reports and Case StudiesRGC 48 - Consulting or contract research reportpeer-review