Year of Graduation
New Social Imaginary: Common in Political Self-Imaging and Self-Understanding among Protesting Students in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan in 2014-2015
This research is investigating common features in political identities of protesting students, which were constructed during the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan, the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong and Anti-Military Movement in Japan in 2014-2015. The goal is to prove the existence of common “social imaginary” shared by the protesters in three different regions and to determine main common ideas which constitute such imaginary. The goal was achieved by examining similar tendencies in political, social and economic development of the three regions in XXI century. Then reasons, courses of action and rhetoric of each protest movement were examined and compared. The main findings show that all these movements took place in similar conditions, when during the period of political and social stability, because of unsatisfying performance of government officials, young generations lost trust and respect for their home country. It was followed by the increase in censorship in mass media, which led youngsters to use internet more, because it provided them with the possibility of uncensored political discussions. Thus internet became the platform, where the new social imaginary was constructed, and students started to believe that their actions may affect political situation in the country. Closer investigation of each protest movement proved that the social imaginaries of each movement are very similar, because three main ideas which constitute them (Globalism, Constutionalism and Pacifism), were presented in all three movements.