chapter  4
2 Pages

Work, Identity and Change? Post/Colonial Encounters in Hong Kong

WithPauline Leonard

This paper explores the shifting, multiple modalities of Britishness, colonialism and

whiteness in a changing social landscape. Set in postcolonial Hong Kong, it draws on

research with white British expatriates to explore the ways in which identities and

relations are changing since the handover from British to Chinese rule. For many British

expatriates, the decision to migrate was a career and lifestyle choice, motivated by a

desire to progress within their lives. However, once there, Hong Kong offers a new racial

context in which identities are to be performed, meaning that the negotiation of new lives

is not a simple or abstract transnational transposition. In addition, the dynamic social

and political context of Hong Kong is mediated through expatriate contexts in diverse

and complex ways. Colonialism can be seen to persist in many of these contexts,

suggesting that postcolonial ways of being a British expatriate in Hong Kong are still very

much in process.