Hong Kong in Transition : The Hong Kong identity and value change in relation to the pro-democracy protests of 2003-2020

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: The importance of protecting democracy and free speech in the world has never been moreparamount than in a time like now, when pro-democracy and independence movements areon the rise and democracy is declining. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the potentialstrengthening of the local identity in Hong Kong in relation to the 21st centurypro-democratic protests and the postmaterialist generation. This will be put in contrast toChina’s more totalitarian way of governing and resistance to democracy. Of which the globalcity of Hong Kong has been a special administrative region (SAR) within the one countrytwo systems design since the 1997. The investigation of the local identity is based on theWorld Value Survey's data set from 2005, 2014 and 2018. The survey data is analysed withstatistical tools of regression analysis, correlation and comparison over time. This study findssome correlation between the postmaterialist values and identity but no correlation betweenthe Hong Kong local identity and the pro-democracy movement. The results further suggest amoderate strengthening of the Hong Kong identity in the form of an increase in inherentpride, which this thesis contends may be induced by the clash of the values imposed bymainland China. This possibility requires further research as the identity of an autonomouspart of a nation, for example Hong Kong, is of importance for civic participation anddemocracy as a whole.

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