Mughal, Zahid Ramzan Mohamed (2022) Walking the cosmopolitan talk: mapping expatriate identities in postcolonial Hong Kong. Masters thesis, Keele University.


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Drawing on primary research on former students of international schools in Hong Kong, juxtaposed against their local school counterparts, this thesis demonstrates how notions of cosmopolitan belonging are forged and subsequently maintained. The thesis examines how a mastery of international school ethos parallels an accumulation of a valuable form of cultural capital which is then proclaimed by its possessors as ‘cosmopolitan,’ and is worn beyond the school environment as an intrinsic badge of identity. Intervening in postcolonial debates, the thesis unpacks how harnessing this form of ‘cosmopolitan capital’ is tied to colonial legacies and Western privilege. Using a threetiered empirical research strategy, the thesis extensively explores how 41 participants, organised around their nationality, race and formative schooling experience, claimed and mapped their cosmopolitan identities during semi structured interviews; it then explores how these identities are sustained in real urban spaces during subsequent walking reflections. The backdrop of Hong Kong’s 2019 pro-democracy protests served as a timely framework to demonstrate the importance of unpacking these identities.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cosmopolitanism, Migration, Orientalism, Hong Kong, International School
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography > GF31 Human Geography
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Contributors: McKay, DCC (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2022 09:03
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2022 09:03

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