2014年10月4日 星期六


All human behaviors are driven by unmet needs. It applies to leaders in BJ, HKSAR, and the participants of the movement.
SSLD Practice aims at maximizing all-win design to avoid unnecessary conflict, but does not categorically rule out conflict as a possible strategy.
We infer needs from behavior, and translate problem and pathologizing language into the language of needs, wants, and goals.
The expression of needs and the strategies employed to address them are conditioned by the 3Cs: Circumstances, characteristics, and capacity.
An N3C assessment of all the participants is the first key step in any game.
When we become self-centered and can only think of what we want, we may lose sight of the N3C of the other players and miss the key processes of the game
Do we know the N3Cs of BJ, SAR government, and the movement?
A few points: BJ leaders need security and order, which they normally attain by keeping tight control (part of their characteristics). They have strong esteem needs (face), and often projects a strong and tough image (another characteristic). In their mind, they may genuinely believe that they are doing HK some real good, but that may be a self-centered imagination not engaged with HK sensibilities. In terms of circumstances, BJ feels that it is under a lot of threat, both internally (e.g., Uighur extremists, Tibetan separatists, domestic dissidents, alternate voices inside the CCP) and externally (US and the West, Russia, etc.). It is also aware of the implication for Taiwan. This increases their rigidity and risk of coming up against resistance and confrontation. In their view, they have made a lot of concessions to people in HK (which not all HK people feel and/or appreciate). We also know a thing or two about the characteristic measures used by the CCP. They are not trained in more sophisticated “soft” skills of political control, and still rely on more traditional means such as censorship, arrest and imprisonment. They are not confident in their own skill in discourse management (the US and other Western governments are more proficient with this) and cannot handle an open discursive field. These makes it difficult for them to receive messages and ideas that may help them in the long run. The inability to process corrective feedback severely compromises any system’s ability for self-correction and adjustment to environmental changes, and thus threatens its effective functioning and may be even its survival. Such are the limitation of their capacity, but they do have huge financial capacity and is supported by a lot of physical force, including military might.
Following such an N3C frame, we should assess the SAR government, and LCY, as well as members of the movement.
LCY’s need also include security and order, but he also need to worry about his political survival. In a way, he is more scared and nervous than leaders in BJ. He is, therefore, also ready to do more drastic things for he is desperate. The SAR government (the civil service) used to have slightly different characteristics than the CCP, but LCY is following directions from up north.
Among the protestors, there are people who are thrilled by the current mood. They feel that they are part of something great and profound, of historical proportions. Some of them are unlikely to leave because they need this. They feel high and thrive on it, feeling morally superior and existentially solid. There are others who enjoy the sense of community, identity and belonging, as well as the very unusual experience of positive connection with a lot of people. These offer powerful gratification to many basic human needs. We are talking about a huge party of historic proportions, the idea itself is irresistible to some. There are also people who are driven by a sense of indignation, anger, or even guilt. The needs for identity, esteem, affiliation, connection, identity, and a sense of purpose are pretty effectively met by the movement. A lot of people are therefore willing to take the risk, mitigating the effect of fear. In contrast, both the BJ leaders and LCY are more driven by fear. There are obviously people who participated because of some political ideal or sense of justice, but other psychological needs are relevant as well. There are people who are intellectually curious, and wish to figure out a framework for making sense, and ways to strategize, but my sense is that these people are probably in the minority. There are now interesting characteristics that we have observed about the movement, in terms of its idealism, openness, discipline, spontaneous and shared leadership, and resilience. These are also valuable aspects of their capacity. On top of that, they have the sympathy from the international community, energy, effective mobilization, indigenous organization, and huge social and symbolic capital.
An additional point is that people in HK can also be self-centered, and fail to appreciate the N3C of BJ. Some of them do not even want to be associated with BJ or the PRC. Some may even publicly declare that they are not Chinese but HKers. The sense of rejection and betrayal felt by BJ, and many PRC citizens, is something that people in HK have to reckon with, though I imagine it to be quite hard.
Mutual understanding of the N3C of all parties makes it possible to imagine possible solutions and/or compromises. BJ and the SAR government (LCY) both need to feel secure, but have a very restricted repertoire of skills of political control and discourse management. That’s why LCY resorted to such lowly tactics. SSLD recommendation for them is to learn and develop more sophisticated skills to maintain the political order they desire. They are like beginners learning to ride a bicycle, they apply the brakes too frequently and too tightly, and are very afraid to lift their legs above ground. Not trusting in the natural balance of the physical forces, they are messing the whole thing up without getting the bicycle to move forward. Their poor self esteem makes it difficult for them to recognize the problem and to seek help. It would be great if someone can talk to them about their needs and their desired state of affairs, and supply them with better strategies and skills for achieving their goal. As for the movement, a few people may actually want to become martyrs and can feel very gratified by their own sacrifice. Others are not prepared to pay a high price, but the strong need for affiliation/connection/community and esteem may prevent them from doing anything that can be seen as copping out. Many of their needs are not actually going to be met by the political agenda of direct election through universal suffrage. SSLD problem translation helps people to recognize what they really need and that what they believe to be the only means is actually just one of the many possible means. If all the parties concerned go through a similar process and mutual understanding can be established, a stalemate can be avoided, as creative options can be generated. You have actually suggested some of those yourself. The solutions are unlikely to be accepted if they have not gone through the process of examining their own N3C and those of the other players.

Ka Tat Tsang
Core Faculty Member, Collaborative Master's Program in Asia-Pacific Studies
Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work

A. Ka Tat Tsang is the Director of the China Project and holds the Factor-Inwentash Chair in Social Work in the Global Community. The focus of his research and scholarship is the development of a knowledge base for social work practice in a globalized environment, through active integration of theory, practice and research. Diversity is a major theme in the development of Dr. Tsang’s scholarship and research. The social work profession has to wrestle with the challenges of intersecting diversity related to dimensions such as race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, sexual practice, class, religion, age, ability, citizenship, geographical location, and so on. Within a context of rapid and pervasive globalization, the impact of such diversities is increasingly salient in everyday social work practice. Professor Tsang believes in proactive engagement with such diversities, and moves beyond the conventional academic model of narrow specialization to address the complex and interconnected issues that cut across different domains of social work practice. Following a multiple contingencies approach, he has developed a number of practice systems such as the SSLD (Strategies and Skills Learning and Development), ICCP (Integrative Cross-Cultural Psychotherapy), and MCM (Multiple Contingencies Model) of psychotherapy.
Dr. Tsang has been actively involved in the development of social work in China since the 1980s. His current projects in China involve collaboration with a number of leading universities such as Tsinghua, Shandong, and the Beijing Institute of Technology.