Hong Kong teachers' perceptions of "protest participation" as a characteristic of "good citizenship"

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Abstract

Social movements have increasingly been included in any review of civic participation. Social movements have indeed signified a new wave of youth political participation, which has challenged the concepts of "active citizenship." However, active citizenship is a twoedged sword: it can actively sustain and promote the status quo on the one hand or disrupt and challenge the status quo on the other. In this study, a mixed methods design is employed to examine Hong Kong primary school teachers' perceptions of "protest participation" as a characteristic of "good citizenship." Contrary to some expectations, given the widespread participation of teachers in recent social movements, the quantitative results indicate that "protest participation" is considered by teachers to be the least important characteristic of "good citizens" and the least effective means for cultivating "good citizenship." These findings suggest that there is a discrepancy between teachers' perceptions of protests and the new waves of youth political engagement. This discrepancy has policy and pedagogical implications for the conceptualization of active citizenship. This discrepancy also reflects the tensions that exist not only between Hong Kong society and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and People's Republic of China (PRC) governments, but also within Hong Kong society itself. These tensions mirror the divergence between "good citizenship" advocated by the HKSAR government and "good citizenship" promoted by groups within Hong Kong society. While this study is set in the Hong Kong context, the findings can be valuable for policy makers and educators in other places when they consider how to cultivate students to become "good citizens". Copyright © 2018 American Association of Chinese Studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-121
JournalAmerican Journal of Chinese Studies
Volume25
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

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Citation

Wong, K. L. (2018). Hong Kong teachers' perceptions of "protest participation" as a characteristic of "good citizenship". American Journal of Chinese Studies, 25(2), 107-121.

Keywords

  • Active citizenship
  • Civic education
  • Good citizens
  • Protest participation
  • Social movement