Rise of Hong Kong nationalism on the edge of empires
Item statusRestricted Access
Embargo end date06/12/2022
Ho, Justin Chun-ting
This study aims to understand the discursive constitution of Hong Kong nationalism. Despite China’s efforts to instil Chinese nationalism among Hong Kong people, recent years witnessed an escalating conflict between Hong Kong and China and the eventual rise of nationalism in Hong Kong. Drawing on data from social media, publications, and archival documents, this study maps the competing discourses of Hong Kong’s past, present, and future. It illustrates how history, culture, social issues, and political crises were appropriated by nationalists to foster the building of the Hong Kong nation. The findings suggest that the idea of China Threat is a key component central to the nationalism discourse. The idea of China Threat includes the threats to freedom, democracy, and Hong Kong’s culture. Hong Kong nationalism, on the one hand, mobilises Hongkongers to resist the threats from China, and on the other hand, projects itself in the international arena as an aspiring member of the free world to muster support. This study introduces a novel approach that complements sociological research with computational methods to study nationalism. The study employs a mixed methods design; for each chapter, the most appropriate research strategy was devised with consid eration of its research aims and the nature of the data. In order to deal with the vast quantity of social media data, computational text analysis was used to reveal patterns within the text corpora and to select relevant texts for qualitative analysis at a subsequent stage. Sociologically, this study not only contributes new knowledge on Hong Kong society, but also takes advantage of Hong Kong’s unique geopolitical, historical, and cultural context as well as the nascent nature of Hong Kong nationalism to reflect on existing theories of nations and nationalism. Methodologically, this work demonstrates the value of using computational methods to augment social inquiries and proposes a novel research framework that is applicable to a wide range of studies that utilise text as data.