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Rearticulating a politics of recognition : praxis, theory and narration of three Hong Kong intellectuals in public writing

Authors Chan, Ching-shing
Issue Date 2004
Summary Taking praxis as its central problematic, this thesis studies the formation of intellectual narratives with regard to the practice of public writings of three intellectuals in Hong Kong. Using the methods of interviews and textual analysis, I demonstrate the dynamic and the variegated relationships among theories, life experiences, and intellectual self in the three cases. In particular, it will be shown that the specific types of social margins which the intellectuals observe and discover, and the historical and social context related to these different types of social margins, constitute individual creativity in intellectual narratives and their public writing. I argue that theories are not constructed universally in all public, intellectual writing; rather, the appropriations of theories are case-sensitive and historically specific to individual experiences in encountering social margins as socially excluded, and offer specific guidance in writing for these margins in public, intellectual writing. Local intellectuals in Hong Kong do not necessarily follow the shifts in western academic debates. Western theories none the less constitute a constellation of traditions that are ready for representing social margins yet to be discovered in the historical experiences of intellectuals in the local context. Here the research on intellectual narratives proffers a re-definition of intellectuals: intellectuals are not the agents to declare principles of abstract and universal humanity in the quest of knowledge for the equality of human subjects as global citizens in the ultimate goals of history, as Kant advocates; intellectuals instead are the agents speaking for, and thus representing, the social margins that are unnoticed in civil society. This presupposition raises the issue of a politics of recognition, in which the unrecognized others as social margins have to be recognized in the public sphere in particular historical contexts through a plurality of theoretical stances, intellectual narratives, and public writing.
Note Thesis (Ph.D.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2004
Language English
Format Thesis
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