Human geography in Hong Kong: A preliminary analysis

Wing Shing TANG*, Kim Ching Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Human geography in Hong Kong is a practice situated within the multiple spatialities of th then colonial and the post-colonial regimes of practices, and the material setting of Hong Kong. Geographical research is the output of the intellectuals' comprehension of the environment and interaction with the regimes of practices. It is a commonplace in the knowledge production nexus that while the local authority randomly appropriates concepts for the purpose of governance, the local geographers randomly indigenise mainstream concepts that bear resemblance to the local environment. Human geography in Hong Kong has developed considerably in the past thirty years or so. A brief survey shows that geographical research mostly employs quantitative methodology and focuses on mainland China. In fact in the last one to two decades, there was a conspicuous 'China turn'. Despite these developments, there was no 'paradigm shift' in the field as well as scant attention to the issue of social relevance. The paper concludes by proposing steps to stride for social relevance, including researching local studies and opening one's eye and mind to alternative and critical geography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-52
Number of pages17
JournalJapanese Journal of Human Geography
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development

User-Defined Keywords

  • Hong Kong
  • Human geography
  • Knowledge production nexus
  • Multiple spatialities
  • Regimes of practices
  • Social relevance


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