Re-discovering national spatiality and diversity in South China

Eric Kit-wai Ma

in Desiring Hong Kong, Consuming South China

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9789888083459
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882209329 | DOI:
Re-discovering national spatiality and diversity in South China

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This chapter examines the political effects of the rising Chinese nation on Hong Kong people travelling and working in South China. It focuses on the cultural politics of re-nationalization, and thus a politics built on assimilation. In the colonial years, a de-nationalized Hong Kong identity was constructed through the cultural differentiation between modern Hong Kong and less-modern China. Since 1997, state-initiated ‘national identity’ programmes in Hong Kong and the high-speed marketization of South China have altered the boundary of Hong Kong versus China in the Hong Kong popular imagination. Based on ethnographic studies in bars, factories, and residential estates, the chapter explores the increasing integration of Hong Kong and Mainland China. The people of Hong Kong and South China are producing a regional hybridized culture that is gradually overcoming the sharp boundaries once drawn by many Hong Kong people vis-à-vis their Chinese neighbours; the binary of Hong Kong/China is being replaced by pluralized points of reference (north, south, urban, rural China) under the catch-all discourse of the great nation of market-driven post-socialist China.

Keywords: Hong Kong; China; national identity; colonialism; marketization; cultural integration; regionalism; hybridity

Chapter.  8886 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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