Colonial Governance and the Hong Kong Story This paper attempts to take stock of some of the discursive responses to the return of sovereignty of Hong Kong to China in 1997. Faced with this critical moment in history, these discourses have a common concern to place Hong Kong - its life and times, its "whence and whither" - in a larger cultural, historical and political milieu, whether these milieux are traversed in one's biographical ruminations, or in more scholarly treatises. As attempts to recount the Hong Kong story, these discourses have provided different constructs of the Hong Kong consciousness. This paper aims to contribute to this literature by focussing on the relations between colonial governance (as ideology and as mode of practice) and the evolution of the local society and the local consciousness. The post-war development of the goals and practices of the colonial government is sketched, and the impact of governance on the changing contours of the society and its collective representations is discussed. It is argued that the gamut of local attitudes only makes sense when it is placed in the ambit of colonial governance, and that any attempt to recount the Hong Kong story could ill afford to neglect recounting the colonial story.
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