The construction of collective identity : a study of the housing protests in Hong Kong

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The construction of collective identity : a study of the housing protests in Hong Kong


Author: Leung, Chi-yuen
Title: The construction of collective identity : a study of the housing protests in Hong Kong
Year: 2000
Subject: Housing -- China -- Ho Man Tin (Hong Kong)
Group identity -- China -- Ho Man Tin (Hong Kong)
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: 236 leaves : ill. (some col.), maps ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: This study focuses on the significance of collective identity to mobilization. Taking social protests in a public housing estate as a case study, I aimed at investigating the collective identity construction process and mobilization result of the residents living in a redeveloping Ho Man Tin Estate in the Hong Kong context. I utilized the Framing Theory and qualitative data collection methods to shed lights on the framing process of the collective identity of three community groups with reference to the three main dimensions and strategic orientations of collective identity, namely: the boundary setting, the consciousness raising and the negotiation making. The three community groups were Happy Hour-Singleton and Cohabitant Senior Citizens Group (SCSCG), the Ho Man Tin Estate Tenancy Concern Group (TCG), and the Ho Man Tin Estate Redevelopment Concern Group(RCG). The boundary setting was specifically prevalent to the SCSCG, the consciousness raising was to the TCG and the negotiation process to the RCG. The findings showed the following results. With regard to SCSCG, the forging of the boundary between 'us and them' was developed at the inter-organizational and intra-organizational level by following the manifest and latent ways. Manifest boundaries constructed by the social workers did not exhaust all the latent boundaries developed within the group and inter-estate coalition. Boundaries were even developed and emerged over episodes and physical setting of collective action in configuring the antagonists, the protagonist and bystanders. To TCG, the politicization of identities related much to the development of critical understandings towards causes and solution of unjust situations, success expectation and the urgency of action in the small group context. TCG further selected and appropriated successfully three 'collective identity frames', namely the citizens frame, the public tenant frame and the working class people frame, for the purpose of understanding external injustice in a contingent and flexible way. A sense of anger solidarity and obligation came together to provide the affective content that guided the emotional expression of the TCG members in a significant way. For RCG, negotiation making was processed internally between general members and the social workers while externally between the RCG and the authority. As a paid external professional, the social worker adopted a detached role in the organizing process that resulted in disassociation, mistrust and demobilization. The RCG failed to mobilize the members and offer a counter-frame on its own identity in disputes with the authority. It eventually won no changes in re-housing policy.

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