Transforming cultural identity in a monocultural environment: The case of Hong Kong

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Abstract

This presentation will examine issues of cultural identity arising from immigration in a dominant Chinese society with a focus on cultural processes designed to eliminate cultural differences. Yet Cooper and Denne (1998 p. 3) have argued that “globalization has led to increased awareness of differences and similarities both within and across cultures” while Arnett (2002, p.774) suggested that, “globalization has its primary psychological influence on issues of identity”. How were these tensions resolved? The results showed a multi-level impact of cultural values involving both dominant and minority cultures. At the institutional and policy levels dominant cultural values constructed a framework that encouraged assimilation and integration of minority cultures. At the personal level, many in the minority cultures responded with a culture of resistance to preserve what they saw as essential cultural elements such as language, religion and social values. At the same time, many representatives of the minorities saw also themselves as part a ‘civic contract’ in which they would actively contribute to their new society. This outcome came close to Arnett’s (2002, p. 777) view that “the central psychological consequence of globalization is that it results in transformations in identity”. In the current case, however, it was not so much a transformation of identity as an expansion keeping intact what had been traditionally valued while adopting new values for a new social sphere.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

Citation

Kennedy, K. (2015, July). Transforming cultural identity in a monocultural environment: The case of Hong Kong. Paper presented at the 14th European Congress of Psychology (ECP2015): Linking technology and psychology: feeding the mind energy for life, Teatro degli Arcimboldi, Milan, Italy.

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