Chinese parents exercising alternative middle-class choice: A study of homeschooling in Hong Kong

Tsz Lok Trevor LEE, Kris Lap-Yi CHU

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

Despite its continuing rise, homeschooling in Hong Kong and many other Chinese cities is under-studied in academic research, underrepresented in society, invisible in public policy, and even marginalized within parent communities. Unlike many cases in Western societies, homeschooling in Hong Kong appears to be largely a ‘middle-class phenomenon’—better-off Chinese parents in Hong Kong can draw on their resources and navigate opportunities in the existing legal framework so that homeschooling is a viable option for their children’s education. Putting this phenomenon into a wider context of stratification and inequality, alternative middle-class choice and practice that ‘opt out’ of a traditional school system to homeschool their children problematizes our common sense understanding of middle-class trajectories. For instance, would these middle-class parents fear any loss of educational privilege that they would otherwise have in a traditional school system? Or, conversely, would these parents think that homeschooling is ideally suited for their children, who, in turn, may gain even more ‘home advantage’ over their schooled peers? Or would these parents pursue alternative forms of aspiration and privilege for their children? With these questions in mind, this study explores how Chinese homeschooling parents perceive and make sense of their homeschooling choice, with emphasis on the relation to social class. Data were drawn from in-depth interviews with 15 homeschooling families in Hong Kong. We will discuss the preliminary findings of this study and the theoretical implications for how Chinese homeschooling phenomenon constitutes the analytical leverage for theorizing a relatively unexplored area of middle-class reproduction processes. Copyright © 2022 British Sociological Association.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Citation

Lee, T. T.-L., & Chu, K. L.-Y. (2022, April). Chinese parents exercising alternative middle-class choice: A study of homeschooling in Hong Kong. Paper presented at British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2022, United Kingdom.

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