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The Rise of “Localism” and Civic Identity in Post-handover Hong Kong: Questioning the Chinese Nation-state

  • Sebastian Veg (a1)


While it was traditionally accepted that Hongkongers shared a form of pan-Chinese cultural identification that did not contradict their local distinctiveness, over the last decade Hong Kong has seen the rise of new types of local identity discourses. Most recently, “localists” have been a vocal presence. Hong Kong has – quite unexpectedly – developed a strong claim for self-determination. But how new is “localism” with respect to the more traditional “Hong Kong identity” that appeared in the 1970s? The present study takes a two-dimensional approach to study these discourses, examining not only their framework of identification (local versus pan-Chinese) but also their mode of identification (ethno-cultural versus civic). Using three case studies, the June Fourth vigil, the 2012 anti-National Education protest and the 2014 Umbrella movement, it distinguishes between groups advocating civic identification with the local community (Scholarism, HKFS) and others highlighting ethnic identification (Chin Wan). It argues that while local and national identification were traditionally not incompatible, the civic-based identification with a local democratic community, as advocated by most participants in recent movements, is becoming increasingly incompatible with the ethnic and cultural definition of the Chinese nation that is now being promoted by the Beijing government.

根据一般理解, 香港虽然有自己的地方特点, 但同样认同大中华文化。可是, 近十年, 香港出现了新类型的香港身份认同话语。最近 “本土” 论述经常出现, 甚至 “自决” 需求都浮出水面。那么, 这种论述与 1970 年代的传统 “香港人” 论有多大差别? 本文试图从两重角度探索本土身份认同论, 不仅探讨它的认同框架 (地方/大中华), 又分析它的认同方式 (文化–族裔认同/公民认同)。通过三个个案——六四纪念会、2012 年的反国民教育运动、2014 年的雨伞运动——, 本文区分本土认同的两种类型: 基于政治与公民 (civic) 的身份认同 (例如学民思潮, 学联的论述), 和基于族裔与文化 (ethno-cultural) 的身份认同(如陈云等人论述)。如果在过去地方与国家层次的身份认同不矛盾, 那么最近的冲突来自哪里? 本文提出这样的问题: 除了中港 (框架) 矛盾之外, 存在于本地公民的民主群体与北京当局促成的族裔文化民族群体之间的冲突, 是否更加重要?

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