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Remaking places and fashioning an opposition discourse: struggle over the Star Ferry pier and the Queen's pier in Hong Kong

Authors Ku, Agnes Shuk-mei View this author's profile
Issue Date 2012
Source Environment and planning. D, Society & space , v. 30, (1), February 2012, p. 5-22
Summary The paper integrates spatial analysis with dynamic discourse analysis to look at the interplay among discourse, agency, and spatial practices in the social production of space. It examines the dual process of place making and discursive formation with regard to the campaigns over the Star Ferry pier and the Queen's pier in Hong Kong in 2006-07. Drawing on and extending Lefebvre's theory, which asserts the priority of space over language, I argue that social movement presents a case of reappropriation of space that is intended to be read and lived interactively. The two case studies show that the events became vehicles for oppositional ideas and practices that gradually crystallised into a counterdiscourse of people's space in the process of remaking places from below. The dynamic discourse analysis focuses on the contestatory process of multivocal claims and interpretations among the activists, the media, and the government regarding memory, history, living space, and agency. The spatial analysis sheds light on the material embodiment of meanings in places as well as the activists' tactics and actions. The interplay between discourse and spatiality is registered in how one informed or prefigured the other's development, how action-guiding narratives were recounted in spatial terms, and how the activists enacted the agency of the narratives in and through the places. I conclude that the struggle underscores the rise of a new social movement in society.
ISSN 0263-7758
Language English
Format Article
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