Journal 3

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This is the post made by Hong Kong newspaper stating that Hong Kong people screamed for not allowing main land people to buy milk powder in Hong Kong

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This is the photo of demonstration of Hong Kong people protested against mainland pregnant women

Recently, the conflict between mainland China and Hong Kong become more and more fierce. In March, demonstration of “fighting against mainland” was reported on Chinese newspaper and some websites. Some Hong Kong people even compose a song called “song of locust” to satirize mainland Chinese are just like the locusts.

There are several events that I considered to be the fuse for the dissatisfaction of Kong Kong people. First, in 2008, some milk powder in mainland was found been added some chemical material “Melamine” that could cause infants to suffer urinary calculus. Such event sharply reduced people’s trust to almost all Chinese brand milk powder and more and more people chose to buy milk powder from Hong Kong. The huge demand of milk powder from mainland China caused the supply shortages of milk powder in Hong Kong, so even Hong Kong people could not buy their milk powder, which provoked a great deal of controversy.

Second, more and more mainland pregnant women go to Hong Kong to give birth, because they want their children to have Hong Kong permanent identity, which is freer than China identity and can be exempt from tax. Similarly, as more and more mainland pregnant women went to hospitals in Hong Kong, it gradually become harder and harder for Hong Kong women to find beds in hospitals, which also provoke discontent of Hong Kong people.

Such events make me think about the Robber’s Cave study that talked about group conflicts. In this study, 22 boys who were all unfamiliar with each other were assigned randomly to 2 groups. Researchers then created conflict between the 2 groups like arranging series of competitive activities. They found that the competition for limited resources led to conflict between two groups. However, in our cases, milk powder and the Hong Kong identity are the limited sources. As more and more mainland Chinese went to “strive” for these resources, the conflicts appeared, which deepened the contradiction between mainland and Hong Kong.  After thinking about these reasons in light of psychological theory, the question left is what can we do to improve the conflicts.  The one I come up with is that since the origin of the conflicts is the limited sources, if we can make the sources available to more people, the conflicts should be reduced. For example, if milk powder companies of mainland can improve quality of the milk powder, then I think there will be fewer mainland people to buy milk powder from Hong Kong. For the second limited source, although I know it is hard to achieve, if the government could expand the extent of rights of people, then maybe fewer people will be willing to go to a long way to Hong Kong to give birth.

Moreover, Sherif indicated that by bringing two groups into cooperation, group conflicts were reduced and two groups were connected again (Sherif, 1956).  Therefore, based on such finding, I wonder if we can create any chance for people from mainland and Hong Kong to cooperate with each other, then the conflicts will decrease.

Before learning about competition from psychological view, I was always taught that competition is good for the growth of group. For instance, teachers told us competition could help us have a sense of crisis if we knew that others did better than ourselves, and competition made students work harder. Also, in most of Chinese schools, teachers tend to be like good students more and pay more attention to them, and give less care to those who get bad grades. As a result, good students generated stereotype to “bad” students and “bad” students also dislike good ones, which conflicts in the class were produced. However, after learning about Robber’s Cave Study and the jigsaw group study by Aronson and Bridgeman (1979), I realize that the best way for the growth of a group is to create cooperation and connect the group members. If we can divide groups for good students and “bad” students work together or if we can ask good students help students with low grades, we can bring the class into harmony and every students are able to become better.

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