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IS ANTI-DISCRIMINATION STILL DISCRIMINATION? CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF THE HONG KONG RACE DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCE

Abstract

This paper applies critical discourse analysis (CDA) as a theoretical methodology to explore recent legislation related to race and language in Hong Kong. Fairclough’s (2010) general three-step methodology is utilized to examine social ideologies, understand power dynamics, and uncover injustices within the Race Discrimination Ordinance (RDO). The RDO, passed by the Hong Kong Legislative Council in 2008 (Hong Kong Equal Opportunities Commission [HKEOC], 2013; Hong Kong Legislative Council [KHLC], 2008), aimed to legally eliminate racial discrimination in the city for the first time (HKEOC, 2013; HKLC, 2008). After the passage of the RDO, the media criticized the legislation as being a weak response towards pressure to take action against racism in the city (cf. Ngo, 2014). CDA provides a useful tool to explore the text of the RDO and ask whether this legislation truly prohibits racism and discrimination. Definitions and themes in this document are analyzed. In particular, the RDO’s definition of discrimination is critiqued, and the document’s underlying perceptions towards immigrants are highlighted to reveal the purposeful exclusion of minority groups and languages in Hong Kong. Overall, this research demonstrates intersections between immigration, ethnicity, language, and discriminatory ideologies.& Furthermore, a critical analysis of this policy provides a starting point to promoting and initiating social change towards the acceptance of immigrants and their ethnic and linguistic diversity.

Keywords

critical discourse analysis, racial discrimination, language policy, Hong Kong

How to Cite

Hubbs E., (2015) “IS ANTI-DISCRIMINATION STILL DISCRIMINATION? CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF THE HONG KONG RACE DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCE”, Journal of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching 22(0). p.26-46.

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Authors

Elizabeth Hubbs (University of Arizona)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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