Where Is the Silent Majority? The Hybridized Identity Between “Honghonger” and “Chinese” in Post-Umbrella Hong Kong

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)Not applicablepeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Conference

Title70th Annual International Communication Association Conference (ICA 2020)
LocationVirtual
Period20 - 26 May 2020

Abstract

In the first decade after the handover of Hong Kong to China, scholars reported a distinct but highly hybridized identity of most Hongkongers, predicting an increased possibility of mutual understanding and cooperation between Hong Kong and mainland China. However, in the next decade as China-related protests increasing, especially after the Umbrella Movement in 2014, scholars turned to contour a polarized identity division, indicating the deviation between a civic Hong Kong identity and an ethnic Chinese identity. Then how did this deviation influence the majority of Hongkongers who once held a hybridized identity? Were they rapidly polarized in the fast-changing social context, meanwhile discarding certain aspects of their previous identities? Or were they “the silent majority” whose voices were covered up by the radicals? Based on a set of survey data collected in late 2017, this study recruits the theoretical framework of boundary mechanisms and symbolic resources, trying to outline the identity perception of Hongkongers who stand in between the two poles. We find that, although the definition of “being Hongkongers” and “being Chinese” has significantly changed, the majority of Hongkongers still identify their own identity as hybridized. Meanwhile, on different symbolic resources, their perception vacillates between “the Hongkongers” and “the Chinese.” Specifically, the salient majority lean on “the Hongkongers” when encountering the political and cultural issues, while they turn to “the Chinese” side when facing economic issues.

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Citation Format(s)

Where Is the Silent Majority? The Hybridized Identity Between “Honghonger” and “Chinese” in Post-Umbrella Hong Kong. / Lin, S.; Zhi, P.; Lin, Fen; Wu, M.

2020. Paper presented at 70th Annual International Communication Association Conference (ICA 2020), .

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (no ISBN/ISSN)Not applicablepeer-review