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Taiwan Research Programme
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE


Professor Stephan Feuchtwang

Dr Fang-Long Shih

Schooling, History and the Construction of Identity in Hong Kong

With Professor Paul Morris (Institute of Education)

Series:  Regional comparison: Taiwan and Hong Kong in Comparative Perspective

Date: Wednesday 12 March 2014, 6pm-8pm

Venue: Room G.17, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London School of Economics

Chair: Stuart Thompson (LSE Taiwan Research Programme)


Since Hong Kong’s reversion to Chinese sovereignty the Government has attempted to strengthen local citizens' identification with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Their efforts have met with limited success, and an attempt in 2012 to introduce a compulsory school subject, ‘Moral and National Education’, was withdrawn in the face of local opposition. This article explores the history of attempts to use the local school curriculum for purposes of political socialisation, and their relationship with the emergence of a distinctive Hong Kong sense of identity. We argue that the curriculum has come to reflect a dual sense of identity, which is both Chinese and local; the former located in ethno-cultural and the latter in civic qualities. Whilst schooling has helped to reinforce this distinction, the origins of a local civic identity lay in the emergence of strong civil society movements in the 1970’s and since 1997 peoples lived experiences has reinforced the distinctiveness of local identity. Our discussion of the implications focuses on Taiwan, another Chinese society whose identity is subject to heterogeneous influences

About the speaker

Paul Morris is a Professor of Education at the IOE, University of London. From 1976 to 2007 he worked at the University of Hong Kong and subsequently at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, where he was president from 20001.He has written extensively on aspects of comparative education with a focus on East Asia.