Social Construction of National Reality: Taiwan, Tibet and Hong Kong applies Peter Berger’s theory of social construction of reality to explain the origins of national identity and the process of nation building. Professor Fu-Lai Tony Yu and Diana S. Kwan examine how everyday life experiences, as a result of socialization, germinate ingroup and outgroup which differentiate nationals and foreigners. Using this theory to advance an understanding of conflicts between national groups, Yu and Kwan analyze how national consciousnesses have precipitated the Taiwan Strait Crisis, upheavals in Tibet, and Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement.
Fu-Lai Tony Yu is emeritus professor of economics at Hong Kong Shue Yan University.
Diana S. Kwan is project coordinator in the Office of Medical Education at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Social Construction of National Reality: Towards a Theory of National Consciousness and Identity
Chapter 3: Historical Origins of China’s National Identity: Grand Unification Doctrine, Great Han Mentality, Patriotism and Nationalism
Chapter 4: The Taiwan Strait Conflict: Taiwanese Consciousness versus Chinese Consciousness
Chapter 5: Tension in Tibet: Tibetan Buddhism against Chinese Cultural Assimilation
Chapter 6: Explaining the Rise of Hong Kong Consciousness: Localization against Mainlandization
Chapter 7: A Comparative Analysis on the Taiwan Strait Conflict, Tibet’s Tension and Hong Kong’s Localization Movement
Social Construction of National Reality: Taiwan, Tibet and Hong Kong is a highly interesting book, using the phenomenological sociology of Berger and Luckmann—as well as Weber and Schutz—to shed light on the struggles over identity and belonging being waged between China and Taiwan/Tibet/Hong Kong. If both mainland Chinese unificationists and Taiwanese/Tibetan/Hongkonger separatists were to read this clearly-written and clearly-argued book, they might come to a deeper understanding of one another's seemingly intractable positions and why those positions are held—an understanding that in today's tense times is all too lacking.
The rise and re-emergence of nationalistic movements is a most relevant fact of present days. Understanding nationalism is of particular importance in order to face it in an objective manner and provide a proper and constructive answer to the challenges it poses. This book offers a useful characterization of nationalism from a theoretical point of view and applies it to the cases of China versus Taiwan, Tibet, and Hong Kong. Overall, the book provides a valuable contribution to the analysis of one of the most hotly debated issues in current policy discussions.
Understanding the underlying causes of political and social conflicts is utterly important to improving global well-being. This book provides brilliant insights into the nature of ideological differences in the region. The intersubjectivist approach in the book is inspiring and compelling. Readers in international political economy would be greatly benefited from this volume.