Civic identity profiling: A comparative study of Hong Kong and Taiwan youth

Kerry John KENNEDY, Lijuan LI, Hin Wah CHEUNG

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

1 Citation (Scopus)


Civic identity is a social construction that can take multiple forms amongst citizens of the same society. Students’ civic identity may depend on how they interpret and respond to their social and political contexts. This response might result from a range of possible influences including their civic knowledge, the way they see their future participation and the civic values they currently hold. The main interest of the current study was to develop a comparative perspective on civic identity in two Asian societies, Hong Kong and Taiwan. These societies were chosen not only because they have deep cultural ties but because student social movements have been very active in recent times – the “Sunflower” movement in Taiwan and the “Umbrella” movement in Hong Kong. The research question of interest was whether secondary students’ civic attitudes enhanced their civic learning and their perceptions of the characteristics of ‘a good citizen’ in preparation for their future role in society. If students are to be confronted with activism, were they predisposed to be involved and did they have the knowledge to make those decisions? We were also interested in the effects of schools on students’ civic learning and citizenship understanding. Because we focussed on Hong Kong and Taiwan we were also interested in local contexts and whether there were any noticeable differences that might be attributed to those contexts. To answer these questions we drew on data from the International Civics and Citizenship Education Study (ICCS) (Schulz, Ainley, Fraillon, Kerr and Losito, 2010). We compared Hong Kong and Taiwan students on a range of key variables and found in general Taiwanese students seemed to have a stronger commitment to civic values than Hong Kong students although those of the latter were quite positive. We noted that most of the variance in outcome measures was at the individual level suggesting that school and community influences on students were somewhat random. We hypothesised that Taiwan’s democratic political system provided a more conducive environment for the development of civic values but we found that both Hong Kong and Taiwan students had a strong commitment to such values. Copyright © 2017 by Nova Science Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCitizenship: Past, present and future perspectives
EditorsMichelle FLORES
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc
ISBN (Electronic)9781536107845
ISBN (Print)1536107603, 9781536107609
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


Kennedy, K. J., Li, L., & Cheung, H. W. (2017). Civic identity profiling: A comparative study of Hong Kong and Taiwan youth. In M. Flores (Ed.), Citizenship: Past, present and future perspectives (pp. 101-120). New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.


Dive into the research topics of 'Civic identity profiling: A comparative study of Hong Kong and Taiwan youth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.