Cultural identity and language attitudes - into the second decade of postcolonial Hong Kong

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36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As it entered the second decade of the postcolonial era, Hong Kong had undergone significant socio-economic changes which had impacted students’ perceptions of cultural identity and their language attitudes. This study, conducted in 2009, reports on an investigation into the related perceptions of the postcolonial generation who grew up in Hong Kong after the change of sovereignty. A total of 1265 questionnaires were analysed and group interviews were conducted with a sample of 48 respondents. Despite the outstanding achievements of China in the past decades, results indicated that the majority of the informants still retained a strong local identity while only a small percentage demonstrated identification with the nation. Although the different identity groups converged considerably on their attitudes towards Cantonese (the local language) and English (language of the coloniser), they differed significantly on their attitudes towards Putonghua (the national language of China). Yet, the generally positive attitudes towards all three languages offer evidence of support for an ongoing process that fosters multilingualism and multiple identities. Copyright © 2011 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-264
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2011

Citation

Lai, M. L. (2011). Cultural identity and language attitudes - into the second decade of postcolonial Hong Kong. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 32(3), 249-264.

Keywords

  • Cultural identity
  • Language attitudes
  • Multilingualism

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