Robert W Spires (2018) Hong Kong youth identity and self-presentation in the New Territories: A qualitative study on letters from youth and teachers to an NGO internship program

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Categories: Paper, Youth Voice Journal



Hong Kong youth issues have gained increased attention in recent years, particularly in light of youth protests and political involvement. In Hong Kong, NGOs are one avenue of intervention to address youth issues. This study examines the letters of youth from the New Territories, as well as their supporting secondary school teachers, to a Hong Kong NGO in order to gain placement in an NGO internship program. These letters are explored for issues of youth identity using the lens of dialogical self theory to better understand the impact of globalization on youth identity development. How the youth and their teachers present their strengths, weaknesses, personal characteristics and aspirations illuminates the processes of identity development. Further, the work of Slavoj Zizek is applied to the analysis of youth and teacher letters in order to better understand social understandings, anxieties and pressures, including those related to globalization and urbanization. This qualitative study contributes to the literature on youth in Hong Kong, and youth identity development in a variety of urban contexts.


Keywords: Hong Kong, youth, identity, globalization

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