Do heterophilous networks work? Investigating school-based social capital and the university choice process among less-privileged ethnic minorities in Hong Kong

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Abstract

Much of the existing literature on social capital and university choice processes postulates that family networks of underrepresented students from poor and minority backgrounds are disadvantaged in university resources and in turn deficit in social capital returns. The literature implies that school-based networks are essential to fill the university information voids at home. Less research, however, poses questions about whether the university resources occupied by school personnel are automatically available to less-privileged minority youths. To grasp the dynamic interplay between ethnicity, class and school-based social capital, this study drew on Lin's conceptualisation of homophilous and heterophilous social networking and explored the university choice and application processes among poor and working-class South/Southeast Asian minority students in Hong Kong. The participants' accounts uncovered the restrictions of school networks on norms, expectations and accessibility of information sources. The research results raise concerns about how to activate both homophilous and heterophilous ties for minority youths' widening access to higher education. Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-842
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Volume21
Issue number6
Early online dateNov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Citation

Gao, F. (2018). Do heterophilous networks work? Investigating school-based social capital and the university choice process among less-privileged ethnic minorities in Hong Kong. Race Ethnicity and Education, 21(6), 827-842. doi: 10.1080/13613324.2017.1395329

Keywords

  • Social capital
  • Homophilous and heterophilous networks
  • University choice process
  • Ethnic minority
  • Hong Kong