Life routinization and clandestine photo-taking behavior among young people in Hong Kong: Implications for social work practice

Hau-lin TAM, Siu-ming TO, Kan Diana KWOK, Doris Ka Yin CHAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

With a growing number of reported offenses, clandestine photo-taking has become an increasingly noticeable phenomenon in Hong Kong and other parts of the world. This behavior is usually seen as a selfish act as it invades people's privacy and sexual autonomy to satisfy one's own sex drive. However, the present study provides new and varying insights into the problem. This is the qualitative section of an impact assessment including three focus group interviews with 10 young sexual offenders aged between 18 and 25 years who were either arrested or under probation. The results suggest that more than being sexually driven, people engaged in clandestine photo-taking to eliminate their sense of loneliness and break through the routinization of their everyday lifestyle. Living in a fast-paced and highly demanding metropolitan city, they felt lost and occupied to the extent that they were unaware of their purpose and meaning in life. In contrast, clandestine photo-taking allowed them to have a sense of control and satisfaction that they were lacking in their everyday lives. Based on the young offenders' experiences and responses in the present study, social and parental understanding with early and preventive measures such as curriculum-based sexual education, and sufficient sexual and counseling support will be more important than imposing strong legal sanctions or social control to handle their sexually offending behavior. To assist young people in their need to overcome their everyday life's boredom, stress, and routine, in combination with existing treatments, a meaning-centered approach is suggested for future practices. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Social Work
Early online dateMay 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 2021

Citation

Tam, H.-L., To, S.-M., Kwok, D. K., & Chan, D. K. Y. (2021). Life routinization and clandestine photo-taking behavior among young people in Hong Kong: Implications for social work practice. Qualitative Social Work. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/14733250211020348

Keywords

  • Clandestine photo-taking
  • Loneliness
  • Sexual offenses
  • Meaning-centered approach

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