AbstractRecent studies of globalization provide contrasting views of the cultural and sociopolitical effects of such major corporations as Disney as they invest transnationally and circulate their offerings around the world. While some scholars emphasize the ubiquity of Disney’s products and its promotion of consumerism on a global scale, accompanied by cultural homogenization, faltering democracy, and diminishing state sovereignty, others highlight signs of contestation and resistance, questioning the various state-capitalist alliances presumed to hold in the encounter between a global company, a local state, and the people.
The settlement process and the cultural import of Hong Kong Disneyland in Hong Kong complicate these studies because of the evolving post-colonial situation that Disney encounters in Hong Kong. While Disney specializes in “imagineering” dreams, Hong Kong itself is messily imagining what “Hong Kong” is and should be, and how it should deal with others, including transnational companies and Mainlanders. In this thesis, I appropriate Doreen Massey’s ideas of space-time in order to examine Hong Kong Disneyland not as a self-enclosed park but as itself a multiplicity of spaces where dynamic social relations intersect in the wider context of post-colonial Hong Kong. I illuminate the shifting relationship between Disney, Mainlanders, and the locals as this relationship develops in its discursive, institutional, and everyday-life aspects. Through interviews and ethnographic research, I study how my respondents have established and interpreted the meanings of Hong Kong Disneyland, and how they have made use of the park to support their own constructions of place, of politics, and of identity.
|Date of Award||2007|
|Supervisor||Meaghan Elizabeth MORRIS (Supervisor) & Markus REISENLEITNER (Supervisor)|