Biculturalism and segregated schooling in Hong Kong

Fang GAO, Chun LAI

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The literature on acculturation illustrates that a bulk of non-dominant ethnocultural minorities consider themselves bicultural, involving both dominant and ethnic cultures. Yet, little is known about how bicultural individuals perceive and construct dual cultures, and how their two cultural identities are played out in daily interactions. While these issues are under-researched, they are vital to policy and practice initiation towards ethnocultural minorities' integration and upward mobility as well as for the receiving society's social cohesion and economic competitiveness. To this end, this study used the concept of bicultural identity integration and tapped into the processes of biculturalism among 16 secondary school students coming from South and Southeast-Asian groups in Hong Kong. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to unearth the internal construct of bicultural identity and the trajectories of adapting to dual cultural influences across space. The participants' accounts displayed a high level of cultural harmony yet low blendedness in choosing to separate affiliations into cultural domains. This internal complexity reflects the contradictory juxtaposing of 'cultural diversity' in the host society and its segregated schooling for minority student population. Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-312
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number4
Early online dateSept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Gao, F., & Lai, C. (2018). Biculturalism and segregated schooling in Hong Kong. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 39(4), 301-312. doi: 10.1080/01434632.2017.1383995


  • Acculturation
  • Bicultural identity integration (BII)
  • Segregated schooling
  • Hong Kong


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