Alienated learning in Hong Kong: A Marxist perspective

Kwok Kuen TSANG, Yi LIAN, Zhiyong ZHU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study uses a Marxist perspective to investigate Hong Kong students’ alienation from learning. Alienated learners find learning to be a meaningless, disempowering, and estranging activity. Fifteen Hong Kong undergraduate students were invited to join a photovoice project in which they actively took, shared, and discussed photographs of their experiences with learning. The results suggest that social beliefs about high-stakes examinations legitimize internal contradictions in the education system. This makes students uncritically and unreflectively accept alienated learning. Photovoice projects help the students to become critically aware of their position, self-determination, and agency. Copyright © 2020 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-196
JournalEducational Philosophy and Theory
Issue number2
Early online dateMay 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


Tsang, K. K., Lian, Y., & Zhu, Z. (2021). Alienated learning in Hong Kong: A Marxist perspective. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 53(2), 181-196. doi: 10.1080/00131857.2020.1767588


  • Alienated learning
  • Education
  • Empowerment
  • Photovoice


Dive into the research topics of 'Alienated learning in Hong Kong: A Marxist perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.