MANDARIN DISCRIMINATION IN HONG KONG: FOUR MAINLAND CHINESE SOJOURN TEACHERS’ EXPERIENCE OF SYMBOLIC VIOLENCE

  • Yulong Li Department of General Education, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, City University of Macau, Avenida Padre Tomás Pereira, Taipa, Macau SAR
  • Daibo Xiao Department of Cultural Industry Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, City University of Macau, Avenida Padre Tomás Pereira, Taipa, Macau SAR
Keywords: Mandarin discrimination, symbolic violence, anti-colonialism, Hong Kong

Abstract

Thesis. After the handover of Hong Kong’s sovereignty to China in 1997, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government stipulated a trilingual (English, Cantonese, and Mandarin) and biliterate (English and Chinese) policy, in order to include Mandarin as an additional co-official language together with the original English and Cantonese. Until the handover, the use of Mandarin was restricted in British colonial Hong Kong. Since the handover, however, Mandarin and its users have experienced some resistance by local Hong Kong people.

Method. In an attempt to better understand this resistance and its implications, this study adopts Pierre Bourdieu’s field, habitus, and capital theory, to analyse the anti-Mandarin discourse that has prevailed in the ensuing two decades. Via narrative inquiry, this study explains the habitus of four Mandarin speaking teachers, while especially noting their clashes with the anti-Mandarin discourse, and the symbolic violence they suffered in the field.

    Conclusion. The study concludes with a reflection on the clash between the teachers’ struggles with the discourse from a postcolonial perspective, and it also considers the legal issues involved in protecting mainland Chinese as a minority in Hong Kong.

Author Biographies

Yulong Li, Department of General Education, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, City University of Macau, Avenida Padre Tomás Pereira, Taipa, Macau SAR

 Yulong Li is an assistant professor at the Department of General Education, City University of Macau. His research interests include language education and the use of social theories in education, particularly the theories of Michele Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, and some postcolonial theorists.

Daibo Xiao, Department of Cultural Industry Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, City University of Macau, Avenida Padre Tomás Pereira, Taipa, Macau SAR

Daibo Xiao is an associate professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, City University of Macau. His research fields are cultural studies, cultural and creative industry, cultural market and consumption, cultural event planning.

 

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Published
2020-09-11
How to Cite
Li, Y., & Xiao, D. (2020). MANDARIN DISCRIMINATION IN HONG KONG: FOUR MAINLAND CHINESE SOJOURN TEACHERS’ EXPERIENCE OF SYMBOLIC VIOLENCE. Journal of Education Culture and Society, 11(2), 499-520. https://doi.org/10.15503/jecs2020.2.499.520
Section
LOCAL CULTURES AND SOCIETIES