To extend the discussion of bridging urban studies and contentious politics and to fill the theoretical void in comparative social movement studies in terms of tactical repertoires, this paper explores and compares anti-eviction movements in Hong Kong and Taipei by analyzing the relationship between culture and social movement. The case of Choi Yuen Village from Hong Kong and the Hua Kuang community in Taipei are drawn for close scrutinization. This comparative study, which draws on qualitative data from in-depth interview, document study and participant observation, highlights the cultural implications of movement repertoires and examines the factors causing the similarities/differences. Based on Verta Taylor et al. (2009)’s framework of studying tactical repertoire, incorporating the existing discussion on various political, social and cultural factors and including the latest argument on movement habitus, this research enriches the articulation by presenting the “local social movement culture” as an interlocking factor between macro political structure and the particular set of repertoires in specific movement cases. Although similarly located in Chinese cultural background, compared to Taiwan’s several decades’ turmoil of democratization, Hong Kong’s de-politicized social culture and the clout of democratic development – the lack of a rite of passage, fail to cultivate a similar martial/solemn tone of movement culture. From this comparative study, I argue that the path of social change, specifically, the dynamics between civil society and political transformation, translate into the legacy of local social movement culture that leads to different types of repertoire modularity.
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2017|