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Depoliticization, citizenship and the politics of community in Hong Kong

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Chapter Summary

This chapter critically examines government discourses on citizenship and community in Hong Kong from the 1960s to the present. By making special reference to the government discourses on three public events, the 1966 Star Ferry riots, the 1981 riots, and scuffles such as those that took place at the Cultural Center, Tsimshatsui, on Christmas and New Year’s Eve 2002, it reconstructs the meaning of good citizenship as promoted by the colonial and post-colonial governments. These three public events are selected as cases highly indicative of what governments expect an ideal citizen to be because all of them aroused substantial public attention that subsequently invoked considerable discourse and action. The chapter sheds light on part of the process of citizenship-making in Hong Kong. The practice of citizenship includes both political participation and civic activity. The development of Hong Kong society has increased the multiplicity of a post-colonial Hong Kong identity.

Keywords: Hong Kong society; political participation; post-colonial governments; public events



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