This paper explores how two student groups, namely cross-boundary (CBS) and newly arrived students (NAS) from mainland China are assimilated or integrated in the construction of identity in Hong Kong schools and society as a whole. Research methods include in-depth individual interviews with the target students and their parents, and the administration of a picture-sociometric and writing exercise to explore their views on cultural and national identity. The findings reveal that these students principally defined their identities with respect to the references: (1) their birthplace, (2) their place of residence, and (3) the answers given by their parents. Relatively, NAS are more certain about their Hong Kong identity than the CBS. In addition, Hong Kong schooling is found to be one of the key acculturative agents for cultural assimilation. Drawing on the findings of the qualitative study of the students’ school experiences and perceptions of their national identity, this paper discusses the differences and similarities of these two student groups in the process of identity construction. Copyright © 2010 The Korean Association for Multicultural Education.
CitationYuen, C. Y. M. (2010). Assimilation, integration and the construction of identity: The experience of Chinese cross-boundary and newly arrived students in Hong Kong schools. Multicultural Education Review, 2(2), 1-30.
- Cross-boundary students
- Newly arrived students
- Identity construction