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Identity formation(s) of mainland immigrants in Hong Kong

Authors Leung, Yvonne Yee Man
Issue Date 2007
Summary This research investigates of the identity formation(s) of young migrants who entered Hong Kong from China mainland in the period between mid-1970s and mid-1980s. That was the time when an us-them distinction between the Hong Kong people and the mainlanders had been constructed alongside the newly emerged articulation of a local identity in Hong Kong. This study aims to elucidate the process of identification of the immigrants in such a social context and explain for their modes of identity formation. A relational approach that conceptualizes the social structure and agent as mutually possessed and mutually constituting is adopted for the purpose of this study, through which the necessities of the social structures of Hong Kong and the immigrants' responses are unfolded a process of negotiation. Identities of the immigrants are formed in the process, mediated by the re-weighted capital and resources they accumulated on the mainland and carried over upon migration. As a result, the mutual constitution of structure and agent is sutured into an inter-structure context where an inclusive constitutional effect is put under the analytical lens. By applying the relational analysis to the narratives provided by five target interviewees whose families all started off in participating in the manual labor market when first arrived at Hong Kong, this research is able to uncover the diversified identification process of the immigrants beyond the static class identity should entail yet without losing the analytical tension embedded in class division. The effect of identification on the immigrants' motivation on social mobility is also uncovered, which comes to destabilize the dominant signification of Hong Kong identity.
Note Thesis (M.Phil.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2007
Language English
Format Thesis
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