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Formation of National Identity in Hong Kong SAR: A Discourse Analysis of Grade 1-9 Social Studies Textbooks

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Author(s): Li-Hua Chen | Wen-Ting Wu

Journal: Journal of Textbook Research
ISSN 1999-8856

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 25;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: social textbooks | discourse analysis | national identity

ABSTRACT
The awareness of national identity in Hong Kong has been determined by policies of government authorities. Hong Kong authorities under British rule replaced national identity by promoting international identity and Hong Kong’s own local identity. During the transition of Hong Kong to Chinese control, national identity toward China gradually increased. It has been 14 years since the 1997 handover, now, with the call for Chinese nationalism and patriotism, the Hong Kong government is trying to construct Chinese national identity in school curriculum.This paper explores the formation of national identity in Hong Kong’s 1–9 grade social studies textbooks. Textbooks entitled “General Studies” (grade 1–6) and “Thriving Social Education” (grade 7–9) were reviewed using the discourse analysis method.Conclusions reached are as follows:1.The textbooks directly claim that the Chinese national identity of Hong Kong citizens is legally based on the policy of “one country, two systems” and “the Hong Kong Basic Law”.2.The textbooks bolster apolitical and cultural identity toward China by making connections to kinship metaphors, national achievements, historical hatreds, and Chinese culture. 3.The textbooks straighten further national identity using the slogan “Face the world with the motherland at your back” underscoring mutual ties of economic interests between Mainland China and Hong Kong. 4.Hong Kong’s national identity continues to feature local identity which extends to care for the world.
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