Title: Reading Hamlet in Snowden's Hong Kong: a comparison of Hong Kong and mainland Chinese university students' views of surveillance

Authors: C.A. DeCoursey; Kung Man Matthew Cheung

Addresses: Department of Computer Sciences, Innopolis University, Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia ' Center for Theater and Performance, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Abstract: Second-language (L2) students use their culture and experiences to interpret new texts they encounter. This paper used content and appraisal analysis to compare how Hong Kong and mainland Chinese students view surveillance. Qualitative data was collected while Edward Snowden was in Hong Kong. Frequently-realised themes in both corpora were authorities' attempts to control people, power, and il/legitimate uses of surveillance. In the Hong Kong corpus, most attitudes were negative emotions. In the mainland corpus, most were positive judgments of normality and propriety. Strong colligations were found across several subcategories in the Hong Kong corpus, but only in judgements in the mainland corpus. Results suggest Hong Kong university students are more emotional and individualistic, connecting surveillance to the self, where mainland students are more positive, connecting surveillance to group experiences.

Keywords: surveillance; Hong Kong; China; Hamlet; university student attitudes; appraisal analysis; content analysis; Edward Snowden; second-language reading.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCCM.2021.113735

International Journal of Chinese Culture and Management, 2021 Vol.5 No.1, pp.28 - 52

Accepted: 03 May 2018
Published online: 22 Mar 2021 *

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