Chapter 10. Discourses of female leaders in postcolonial Hong Kong

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The present study examines divergent political discourse systems in postcolonial Hong Kong (cf. Flowerdew 1997), as distinguished by the political claims of two female leaders regarding universal suffrage: Carrie LAM Cheng Yuet-ngor and Emily LAU Wai-hing. Data for analysis are derived from their public speeches addressed in the legislative council of Hong Kong from 2010–2013. The discourse of the chief secretary for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Carrie Lam, lacks a feminine register and represents the Confucianist discourse system, emphasizing consensus-seeking with the central government of China and people of Hong Kong. In contrast, the chairwoman of the Democratic Party, Emily Lau, with traces of a female register represents the Utilitarian discourse system, stressing the soonest possible timeline of universal suffrage as per “international standards.”


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