Imagining a national/local identity in the colony: the Cultural Revolution discourse in Hong Kong youth and student journals, 1966-1977
Studies on Hong Kong’s history have viewed the 1967 riots as a watershed in the formation of Hong Kong identity in the 1960s and 1970s. However, by considering MacLehose’s social policies as the main contribution to Hong Kong identity formation and defining China as ‘the Other’ in that process, the prevailing view overlooks the multifaceted nature of Hong Kong identity formation and the continuity of Hong Kong’s historical development between the mid-1960s and the 1970s. This article questions that view by investigating the Cultural Revolution discourse in three rarely examined yet representative Hong Kong youth and student journals: Undergrad (Xueyuan), Chinese University Student Press (Zhongda xuesheng bao), and Pan Ku (Pangu). Through examining the three publications’ interpretations of the Cultural Revolution during nationalist moments and movements in Hong Kong—the 1967 riots, the Chinese Language movement, the Defending the Diaoyu Islands movement, and the ‘Learning about China, Caring about Society’ campaign—the article discusses the ways in which the Cultural Revolution profoundly affected educated youth and students by contributing to the mutual development of their national and local identities at the intersection of political, ideological, cultural, and geographical perspectives. By documenting the local practices of the Cultural Revolution and the concept of ‘serving the people,’ the article demonstrates that Chinese nationalism, along with Maoism and the Cultural Revolution, played an important role in the formation of Hong Kong identity in the colonial setting.
Journal title, volume/issue number, page range
Cultural Studies, 34.3, 317-340
Art and Culture