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Title: Healing nature : green living and the politics of hope in Hong Kong
Author: Lou, Loretta Ieng Tak
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 1518
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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In Hong Kong, 'green living' (luksik saangwut) is promoted as a way of living that is kind to the Earth and good to the people. It is a grassroots movement that encourages people to take personal responsibility for the environment and the society at large. While most studies of Asia's environmental movements focus on green groups' lobbying tactics and mobilisation strategies, this thesis pays serious attention to individuals' experience of living a green life. Although Hong Kong's green culture is highly influenced by the global appeal to sustainability and environmental protection, its specificities are shaped by the city's social and political climate in a unique historical conjuncture. By focusing on individual experience and their practices of green living in the everyday, I argue that green living in Hong Kong is best understood as 'technologies of the self' wherein new environmental, social, and political subjectivities are formed among the ordinary people. The perceived reciprocity between the act of healing nature and the healing power of nature is an essential element in the formation of green subjectivity in Hong Kong. Not only does green living help people heal and transform themselves, it has also given rise to an embodied politics (santai likhang) that enables people to reimagine a social and political 'otherwise'. Such embodied politics has come to represent a politics of hope that empowers people to confront with the politics of fear that has been looming over Hong Kong since the former British colony was returned to China in 1997. In light of this background, I argue that what the Hong Kong people want to sustain is not just the natural environment, but also the social norms and the ways of living that are thought to distinguish themselves from their counterparts in mainland China.
Supervisor: Xiang, Biao ; Lora-Wainwright, Anna Sponsor: Tertiary Education Services Office of the Macau Government
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Hong Kong ; East Asian Studies ; Anthropology ; Social Movements ; Sustainability ; Subjectivity ; Environmentalism ; China