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Transitory Identity of Hong Kong: A Reading of Cathay Pacific Airways Television Commercials

  • Wendy Siuyi Wong
Chapter
Part of the East Asian Popular Culture book series (EAPC)

Abstract

Lacking autonomy, Hong Kong’s constantly evolving identity is a survival technique, allowing it to adapt to the prevailing political climate. Hong Kong is more than a chameleon; its identity is always fluid and transitory. This chapter argues that the evolution of Hong Kong’s identity is accurately depicted in television advertisements by Cathay Pacific Airways, which tell a story of the city’s survival through adaptation to changing political environments. This analysis focuses on Cathay Pacific television advertisements from 1978 to 2007: from one year before Hong Kong Governor Murray MacLehose’s Beijing visit that unveiled the sovereignty issue looming in 1997 to a decade after Hong Kong’s return to China. During this time the corporation remade its identity—from a subordinate service provider for Euro-American consumers to one that helped promote a sense of local pride and belonging in Hongkongers that would strengthen them in turbulent times.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendy Siuyi Wong
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of DesignYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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