Date of Award

9-2004

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPHIL)

Department

Cultural Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Markus Reisenleitner

Abstract

Information technology almost became the savior for Hong Kong in the process of recovering from the Asian financial crisis immediately after the Handover. The claims to establish and further the development of information technology were made against a certain perception of Hong Kong, in which the place in past decades had indulged in the wrong direction of labour-intensive, cut-throat production in the manufacturing industries and bubble-like speculation in the real-estate sector, and against a certain vision of the future, with more and more competition in the age of globalization, neo-liberal economies, and so on.

This thesis demonstrates, firstly, how the governance of Hong Kong can be seen from the perspective of contingent articulations of dissimilar elements rather than any step-by-step progression along any necessary, objective historical path. Secondly through analyses of the governmental discourses and the business trajectory of Pacific-Century CyberWorks, the flagship group for Hong Kong’s “new-economy”, the thesis depicts the complexity and nexus of knowledge, governance, bureaucratic and financial considerations of and within the project of information technology in Hong Kong, and the mechanism by which this particular discourse is produced and circulated.

Finally, comparing the discourse of Hong Kong’s early industralisation in the early 1950s, the thesis identifies the desire-creating workings of ideology in this particular discourse of information technology in Hong Kong. Also, through theoretical prisms, the thesis provides examples of how the government’s trumpeted notions of (and, probably, people’s faith in) laissez-faire, positive non-intervention are able to coexist in apparent harmony with the highly active participation of the Hong Kong SAR government in society and industry.

Recommended Citation

Chow, S. C. (2004).Traces of desire and fantasy : the government-generated discourse on technology in post-handover Hong Kong (Master's thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.14793/cs_etd.9