[Webinar] Becoming Communities: The Changing Face of Community Activism in Hong Kong

Friday, 7 October 2022, 17:00–18:30 PDT
Becoming Communities: The Changing Face of Community Activism in Hong Kong
Dr. Samson Yuen, Hong Kong Baptist University
via Zoom

A City Rebegins event
Registration required

As an administrative construct, communities have long been a quiet backwater for social participation in Hong Kong. Although community activism briefly emerged in the late colonial era, it faded around the time of the handover with the development of electoral politics. However, the second post-handover decade has witnessed a revival of community activism, propelled largely by bottom-up, grassroots but not necessarily political initiatives that aim to bring communities back in. In this talk, Dr. Yuen will argue that eventful protests were the major driver of this development. In part because of their failures in achieving their demands, these protests have led citizens to increasingly recognize the importance of local communities as a domain for social participation and self-identification. This talk focuses on three types of community activism – online discussion groups, politically-oriented groups and community newspapers – which emerged following three major waves of mass protests. By examining these community initiatives, this talk aims to show how their visions and activities were being influenced by the preceding protests and their outcomes. The findings seek to provide a more nuanced understanding of social activism in Hong Kong beyond the realm of street politics. Theoretically, it also aims to contribute to the burgeoning literature on movement consequences.

Samson Yuen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government and International Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. He is a political scientist who researches contentious politics, civil conflicts, public opinion, health and food politics, focusing particularly on East Asia. He holds a DPhil in Politics from Oxford University.

This webinar is organized by the UBC Hong Kong Studies Initiative and generously co-sponsored by: Department of Asian Studies, Department of History, Centre for Chinese Research, Department of Theatre and Film, Public Humanities Hub, and the School of Social Work.


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