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Occupy Central and the Silent Majority in Hong Kong



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Occupy Central and the Silent Majority in Hong Kong by Jun-Ki Mak
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This dissertation, "Occupy Central and the Silent Majority in Hong Kong" by Jun-ki, Mak, 麥進琦, was obtained from The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong) and is being sold pursuant to Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License. The content of this dissertation has not been altered in any way. We have altered the formatting in order to facilitate the ease of printing and reading of the dissertation. All rights not granted by the above license are retained by the author. Abstract: While a wealth of research and news articles have written about Occupy Central and its participants and supporters, there is a gap in terms of the Silent Majority. This research seeks to investigate what factors or combination of factors contribute to a large unspecified majority of Hong Kong citizens who did not participate nor express their opinions publicly about Occupy Central. Two theoretical perspectives are used to examine the Silent Majority. Noelle-Neumann's (1993) Spiral of Silence suggests that people have a fear of isolation as a consequence for voicing their opinions; hence, individuals have a tendency to remain silent. Ajzen's (1991) Theory of Planned Behaviour illustrates how individuals choose to carry out particular actions over another due to considerations of potential consequences of their behaviour. Methodologically, semi-structured interviews have been conducted with four respondents to explore the views and experiences of the Silent Majority, as well as the justifications and underlying rationale for their silent non-participation. Results suggest that the Silent Majority encompasses a spectrum of silent non-participants ranging from individuals who support Occupy Central to individuals who do not; as well as individuals who are neutral or undecided. Some findings seem to support Noelle-Neumann's (1993) theory regarding one's fear of social isolation for expressing their opinions in public and Ajzen's (1991) Theory of Planned Behaviour that individuals choose certain actions over another due to the potential repercussion of their own behaviour. Further, various factors contributing to the respondents' silent non-participation have also been identified. These factors include 1) the respondents' individual political stance, 2) their reluctance to be in breach of law and social order, and 3) the perceived risks and consequence of expressing ones' opinions or participating in any political activities or movements. Subjects: Protest movements - China - Hong Kong
Release date NZ
January 27th, 2017
Created by
Country of Publication
United States
colour illustrations
Open Dissertation Press
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