The Dynamics of Social Movements in Hong Kong

The Dynamics of Social Movements in Hong Kong

Stephen Wing Kai Chiu
Tai Lok Lui
Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    The Dynamics of Social Movements in Hong Kong
    Book Description:

    Studies of Hong Kong society have long focused one-sidedly upon economic proserity and political stability. Contributors to this volume redress this imbalance by taking a critical view of Hong Kong's political development from the perspectives of social conflicts and collective actions. Instead of looking at Hong Kong from the top, this volume documents the active role played by local actors from below (political groups, student activists, trade unions, women groups, environmentalists, and community organizers) and their impact on social and political development in Hong Kong society in the context of political transition and democratization, economic restructuring, and an emergent local identity.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-108-8
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Series Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)

    Most past research on Hong Kong has been generally aimed to inform a diverse audience about the place and its people. Beginning in the 1950s, the aim of scholars and journalists who came to Hong Kong was to study China, which had not yet opened its doors to fieldwork by outsiders. Accordingly, the relevance of Hong Kong was limited to its status as a society adjacent to mainland China. After the opening of China, research on Hong Kong shifted focus towards colonial legitimacy and the return of sovereignty. Thus, the disciplined study of Hong Kong was hindered for almost half...

  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
    Stephen Wing Kai Chiu and Tai Lok Lui
  5. Contributors
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. 1 Introduction — Changing Political Opportunities and the Shaping of Collective Action: Social Movements in Hong Kong
    (pp. 1-20)
    Tai Lok Lui and Stephen Wing Kai Chiu

    The 1997 question brought Hong Kong under the spotlight of the international news media. The change in sovereignty over Hong Kong on 1 July 1997 was a world event of the 1990s. Largely due to such media attention, various aspects of Hong Kong politics — from tensions and conflicts in the diplomatic talks between China and Britain to the prospects of capitalist Hong Kong under ‘one country, two systems’ — have come to constitute topical issues for academic discussion as well as journalistic reporting. However, despite growing interests in Hong Kong politics, more attention has been given to diplomatic conflicts and their...

  7. 2 Mobilization for Political Change The Pro-democracy Movement in Hong Kong (1980s–1994)
    (pp. 21-54)
    Ming Sing

    In the late twentieth century, one of the most significant and widespread phenomenon in the world has been the global process of democratization.¹ Between 1974 and 1991, 40 countries in the world became significantly democratized.² The wave of democratization started with the toppling of Western Europe’s last three dictatorships in Greece, Spain and Portugal. It then turned to Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Uruguay in Latin America, before spreading to Asia, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and Africa. In Asia, the overthrow of Marcos in the Philippines in 1986, the abolition of martial law in Taiwan and the fall of...

  8. 3 The Pro-Chinese Democracy Movement in Hong Kong
    (pp. 55-90)
    Pik Wan Wong

    The 1989 pro-democracy movement in China triggered worldwide pro-Chinese democracy movements, in Hong Kong and in many other cities throughout the world.¹ The strong ethnic, cultural, economic and political ties between Hong Kong and China made the pro-Chinese democracy movement (PCDM) in Hong Kong the largest such movement in all the overseas Chinese communities in the world.² In addition, the number of participants in Hong Kong’s PCDM in mid-1989 was also the largest among all social movements in the territory during its entire history. Above all, the movement had a significant impact on political culture, party development and democratization in...

  9. 4 Contestatory Unionism: Trade Unions in the Private Sector
    (pp. 91-138)
    Stephen Wing Kai Chiu and David A. Levin

    In the early 1980s, studies by England and Rear, and Turner et al. of Hong Kong’s postwar industrial relations concluded that the local trade union movement had only marginal influence at the workplace, industry and societal levels. Their explanations for this marginality differed however. England and Rear put considerable stress on the nature of worker orientations in combination with the structure and functioning of the labour market as a major determinant of the ineffectiveness of the union movement.² Turner et al. by contrast put more weight on the influence of internal organizational factors within the numerically dominant union federation as...

  10. 5 Bureaucratic Insurgency: The Public Sector Labour Movement
    (pp. 139-184)
    David A. Levin and Stephen Wing Kai Chiu

    During the 1970s a trade union growth wave, marked by a continuous increase in the number of unions and union membership, surged through Hong Kong’s public sector. This wave persisted into the 1980s and 1990s. Associated with it was collective protest by some unions in the form of wall posters, petitions, marches to Government House, and work-to-rule actions over the employment policies and practices of government, a phenomenon which can be described as ‘bureaucratic insurgency’.¹

    The academic writings about this public sector union growth wave have focused mainly on the period up to the early 1980s.² We will review what...

  11. 6 The Rise and Fall of Community Mobilization: The Housing Movement in Hong Kong
    (pp. 185-208)
    Denny Kwok Leung Ho

    In the 1980s, the housing movement in Hong Kong was viewed by students of social protests as one of the major forces generating social and political changes.¹ It was argued that it had served as a training ground for movement activists who subsequently became politicians, enabling them to gain access to the consultative and legislative bodies at different levels of the political system in the 1980s. As a social force representing the grass roots, it had played a critical role in shaping public housing policy of the colonial state.² Together with other community-based collective actions, the housing movement had made...

  12. 7 The Student Movement in Hong Kong: Transition to a Democratizing Society
    (pp. 209-226)
    Benjamin K.P. Leung

    Hong Kong’s democratization, officially termed the development towards a representative government, began with the introduction in 1982 of the District Board, which had popularly elected members in its composition. The democratization of politics at the district level since then eventually cumulated in the introduction of indirectly elected members in 1985, and directly elected members in 1991, to the Legislative Council. Concomitant with this gradual opening up of the political system have been the rise and proliferation of political parties. Increasing politicization of the community has been one most noteworthy feature of Hong Kong since the early 1980s. It is an...

  13. 8 Public Discourses and Collective Identities: Emergence of Women as a Collective Actor in the Women’s Movement in Hong Kong
    (pp. 227-258)
    Ching Kwan Lee

    The ‘new social movements’ paradigm has drawn analytical attention towards what is called the ‘politics of identity’. The women’s movement, along with the gay and lesbian movement, the peace movement, the environmental movement, youth and countercultural movements, are the most frequently cited examples of identity politics. Although critics have challenged the idea of ‘new social movements’,² questioning the claimed ‘novelty’ in the form of collective action as well as the assumed distinction between identity and interest as basis for mobilization, almost all sociologists of social movements agree on the analytical and empirical significance of identity politics. Identity politics can be...

  14. 9 Greening of Hong Kong? Forms of Manifestation of Environmental Movements
    (pp. 259-296)
    On Kwok Lai

    Environmental movements and their discourse on society and politics have been controversial in many ways. They are not just about how and what the state or the people should do to the degraded environment, but also about the competing ways of governance over the natural world.¹ This chapter examines different forms of environmental movements, focusing on the case of Hong Kong where these differences are manifested.

    Before examining the specificity of Hong Kong’s environmental movements, two phenomena are identified for the formulation of our research questions. First, social mobilization on environmental issues is infrequent in Hong Kong and is not...

  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 297-324)
  16. Index
    (pp. 325-328)