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The Heritage of Hair-Cutting

The Tangible and Intangible Heritage of Shanghai-Style Barber Shops in Hong Kong



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The Heritage of Hair-Cutting by Kwok-Kin Corey Mak
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This dissertation, "The Heritage of Hair-cutting: the Tangible and Intangible Heritage of Shanghai-style Barber Shops in Hong Kong" by Kwok-kin, Corey, Mak, 麥國健, 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: Between 1940 and 1950, many Shanghainese immigrants carried their capital and skills into Hong Kong. Among these immigrants were Shanghai-style barbers who brought with them their concept of grooming to retune and upgrade Hong Kong's grooming culture in those earlier times, and who found that the changing situation in the British Colony allowed them to express their professional skills in this new environment. The distinctive characteristics of Shanghai-style barber shops include three elements: such as image and style, male grooming skills and shop services, all elements highlight the ideas of professional, hygienic and enjoyable experience with a customer-first orientation in whole grooming process. The numbers of Shanghai style barber shops are getting less-and-less in Hong Kong in recent years. For a large part of the latter half of the 20th century, this Shanghai-style grooming service was part of the everyday lives of Hong Kong people. Because of some existing challenges in the survival of Shanghai-style barber shops such as retirement of barbers, lack of new blood participation, rising rents and the changing of trends, now Shanghai-style barbering is a sun-set trade. It is living heritage, but one that is not sustainable due to changing expressed needs and tastes, and therefore this characteristic service with its tonsorial skills and distinctive business form needs to be documented before it disappears from the cultural landscape of Hong Kong. Published studies of Shanghai-style barber seem to focus only on the history of the trade and its practitioners, in terms of where they came from and why they came to Hong Kong. There is almost no published record of Shanghai-style barbers' distinctive skills, traditions and ethnicity, or of the differences of characteristics such as business form, tonsorial skills, and people services in barber shops between Shanghai-style barbers and Cantonese barbers. In other words, the character-defining elements (CDEs) that identify the trade as Shanghainese barbers have not been documented - filling this research gap is what this dissertation is about. DOI: 10.5353/th_b4834822 Subjects: Barbershops - China - Hong Kong
Release date NZ
January 26th, 2017
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Country of Publication
United States
colour illustrations
Open Dissertation Press
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