University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Faculty of Education Research Students' Association (FERSA) Lunchtime Seminars 2014-2015 > The Double-faced subjects: Deconstructing superiority of mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong

The Double-faced subjects: Deconstructing superiority of mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong

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Drawing on qualitative data of an ethnographic investigation, in this paper I explore how mainland Chinese (MLC) students in one Hong Kong university respond to dissonances between their global imaginations and the challenging inter-relations between Hong Kong and mainland China. In particular I deconstruct the notion of superiority variously claimed by these MLC students and their Hong Kong counterparts. I pinpoint the relative, situated and hierarchical nature of superiority and inferiority and argue that these MLC students reject the Hongkonger-Mainlander dichotomy and instead exercise their self-authoring agency to invent new options of identities. While these inventive self-positionings are embedded in the global neo-liberal hegemony, they are also indicative of these MLC students’ capacity to appropriate a host of local, national and global conditions. This paper sheds light on how border-crossing students exercise agency in dealing with displacements and disorientations.

This talk is part of the Faculty of Education Research Students' Association (FERSA) Lunchtime Seminars 2014-2015 series.

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