Capital multiplicity and convertibility: Language minorities’ multidimensional challenges to accessing postsecondary education in Hong Kong

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Abstract

Despite rapid growth at the 12-year compulsory education stage, Hong Kong’s non-Chinese language minority students make up only 1.3% of the whole full-time postsecondary student population; their attendance rate is 13.8%, far behind the overall rate of 43.8%. Policy and research focus on their secondary school graduation with a widely recognized nexus between Chinese language deficiency and academic underachievement. Yet lower participation rates in postsecondary education (PSE) and nonlinguistic risk factors that account for under-representation have received scarce regional attention. The current study attempts to fill this gap. Utilizing the multiplicity and convertibility of capital in the Bourdieusian conception, this study elicits non-Chinese language minority students’ voices and identifies the interplay effects of multiple capitals on the participants’ pathways to PSE. Findings provide insights into the dynamic processes of convertible capitals and accessing PSE when developing holistic policies that are able to address linguistic and non-linguistic hurdles in the college choice process. Copyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1165-1176
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Volume38
Issue number8
Early online dateNov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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Citation

Gao, F. (2017). Capital multiplicity and convertibility: Language minorities’ multidimensional challenges to accessing postsecondary education in Hong Kong. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 38(8), 1165-1176.

Keywords

  • Capital
  • Convertibility
  • Multiplicity
  • Non-Chinese language minority
  • Postsecondary education