Contests over community: a community organization in Hong Kong

Hon-Chu Leung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


As governments withdraw from social services and protections, and the quest for belonging intensifies amidst uncertainties generated by globalization, there has been a revival of interest in community across the world. In Hong Kong, following two decades of relative neglect, the community has re-entered the public limelight in the 2000s. People look to it as an ideal and strategy to cope with social problems, tackle poverty, and express concerns about the impact of urban renewal. The literature on urban communities, however, suggests that communities are constructed and contested. This literature continually cautions against viewing communities as natural local outcomes. This chapter focuses on one story of a neighborhood association, placed within the historical context of community organization in Hong Kong. I will examine how a community can be produced through social mobilization, how contestations within and beyond the neighborhood shape the construction of community, and explore the implications of different ways in which communities are constructed. I will also demonstrate how mobilization against displacement and shared memories of collective agency can allow a low-income residents’ organization to keep collective values alive in the face of individualization of social participation in electoral politics and the commodification of urban space through home ownership.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransforming Asian Cities
Subtitle of host publicationIntellectual Impasse, Asianizing Space, and Emerging Translocalities
EditorsNihal Perera, Wing-Shing Tang
Place of PublicationOxon; New York
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780203093894
ISBN (Print)9780415507394, 9780415507387
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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