Lived citizenship and lower-class Chinese migrant women : a global city without its people

Ngai PUN*, Ka-Ming WU

*Corresponding author for this work

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Post-handover Hong Kong was rocked by a series of citizenship battles, especially in terms of struggles for the right of abode. The right of abode movement was central to the social life of Hong Kong in the post-1997 period, proliferating and configuring new cultural and political terrains for contesting meanings of citizenship and identity in Hong Kong (Ku 2001). Notions of community, belonging and culture are no longer abstract concepts; they have become sites of intensive contestation. The movement, which lasted for four years, had faded into silence by 2002 when the Hong Kong police finally arrested and repatriated overdue residents who were Mainland children born to Hong Kong citizens. Whether the battle was a failure is a theme extending far beyond what this chapter can handle. However, the struggle provides an important foundation on which the politics of identity and questions of citizenship in Hong Kong can be further discussed. The struggle has ultimately revealed the constitutive process of defining who is and who is not the Hong Kong citizen-subject proper in the era of globalization. Writing at a time when these Mainland children are being denied right of abode in Hong Kong, this chapter would like to look at the lower-class women whose lived experiences and subjectivities, though often hidden behind the scene of the battle for formal or legal citizenship, are always reconfigured and shaped by the discourses of the battle embedded in the larger discourse of Hong Kong developing into a global city. With insights from, but in contrast to cultural and transnational citizenship studies, we will contribute to the debates by putting forward a notion of “lived citizenship.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRemaking citizenship in Hong Kong : community, nation and the global city
EditorsAgnes S. KU, Ngai PUN
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780203400333
ISBN (Print)9780415396721
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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