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Take Back Our FutureAn Eventful Sociology of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement$
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Ching Kwan Lee and Ming Sing

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501740916

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501740916.001.0001

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Take Back Our Future

Take Back Our Future

An Eventful Sociology of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement

(p.1) 1 Take Back Our Future
(p.iii) Take Back Our Future

Ching Kwan Lee

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter provides a background of the Umbrella Movement, which emerged in the fall of 2014. The genesis of the Umbrella Movement can be traced to an intensification of popular discontent against the Hong Kong government and its principal, the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Since China's resumption of sovereignty in July of 1997, the end of British colonialism has been experienced by many Hong Kong citizens as the beginning of another round of colonization, this time by the Mainland Chinese communist regime. Such recolonization, which proceeded with fits and starts in the early years after the handover and had become more aggressive since 2003, can be broken down into three constitutive processes: political disenfranchisement, colonization of the life world, and economic subsumption. Increasing encroachment by China to turn Hong Kong into an internal colony has spurred the rise of new political actors and groups to defend Hong Kong's way of life and liberal civic values. The chapter then looks at the series of contentious mobilizations leading up to the Umbrella occupations, to trace how the contradiction constitutive of this Hong Kong regime in transition from liberalism to authoritarianism have contributed to nurturing and growing the collective capacity of at least three general categories of political actors who would converge during the Umbrella protests: the self-mobilized citizenry, the localists, and the student activists.

Keywords:   Umbrella Movement, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China, British colonialism, colonization, political disenfranchisement, economic subsumption, political actors, Umbrella protests, collective action

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