Who am I? Narrative Identity of Chinese Late Adolescents in the Context of Social Movements

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    Two issues relating to young people have come up in the recent social movements in Hong Kong since June 2019: (1) a high percentage of participants in the recent social movements are young people and (2) the differentiation exists between Hong Kong local students and students who are originally from Mainland China. It is timely to explore the causes why such a large amount of young people have proactively engaged in the social movements. The investigation into how late adolescents who have grown up in different social and political systems and how they have responded to the recent political issues will also help understand the causes of the dissension in society and suggest possible intervention programmes to repair the tears in society and promote social integration. The proposed study will address these two issues through the lens of identity formation from a social psychological perspective, by drawing on samples from late adolescents (aged around 18-22) including Hong Kong local students and Mainland Chinese students. Specific focus will be on how late adolescents construe their civic and career identity through narrating the experience in the recent social movements in Hong Kong. An estimated 120 Chinese students who are pursuing undergraduate study in Hong Kong will be invited to participate in the research. “Rising to the occasion” narratives will be elicited through a writing prompt (around 500 words) and a follow-up interview (lasting around 40 minutes). A short questionnaire will be distributed to the participants before the beginning of the interviews to collect their demographic information and their engagement in the recent social movements. It is anticipated that this qualitative study will provide an in-depth understanding of how young people with different developmental characteristics and cultural backgrounds understand the political issues and have responded to the social movements in Hong Kong. This knowledge will help understand the causes of the recent social movements, provide implications for education policy that supports late adolescents’ identity formation, and explore possible interventions to foster a healthy and successful identity achievement in late adolescents, which then in the long term, it is hoped, may help repair the current tears in the fabric of society.

    Funding Source: HKSAR Govt - Public Policy Research Funding Scheme (PPR) (Special Round)
    Effective start/end date17/04/2016/10/20


    • narrative identity
    • Social movements
    • Late adolescence
    • Hong Kong local students
    • Mainland students


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