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Forthcoming Publication by Ming-Cheng Lo

Ming-Cheng Lo's article "Deploying Weapons of the Weak in Civil Society: Political Culture in Hong Kong and Taiwan" will appear in the October 2006 issue of Social Justice.

"Deploying Weapons of the Weak in Civil Society: Political Culture in Hong Kong and Taiwan"
Accepting at Social Justice (forthcoming Oct. 2006)
Ming-cheng M. Lo, University of California at Davis
Christopher P. Bettinger, San Francisco State University
Yun Fan, Academica Sinica


Abstract:

"During the 1990s, Hong Kong and Taiwan held their first national
democratic elections and witnessed vibrant political expressions in
civil society. We analyze political cartoons (n=376) to understand how
formerly colonized societies transition civic interactions in these two
young, fragile democracies. We find that repertoires of resistance
developed under conditions of oppression provide rich cultural material
for civic political discourse, and that “cynical engagement” is a
crucial cultural maneuver in the colonial-civic transition. Our
comparative framework further allows us to discern variation in patterns
of deployment of cynicism. Our finding advances theories of double
consciousness and weapons of the weak by explicitly discussing how they
function in a civic mode; it also enriches our understandings of the
pre-civic roots of civic cultures."