Teacher-student power relations as a reflection of multileveled intertwined interactions

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This paper examines the factors shaping teacher-student power relations, based on observations, interviews and document analysis from a Hong Kong study. It identifies and examines six factors: China’s traditional culture of respect, examination-oriented teaching and religious culture were found to encourage imbalanced teacher student power relations, whereas curriculum reform, values education and some school cultures facilitated relatively balanced teacher student power relations. The paper depicts teacher student power relations in Hong Kong as a reflection of multileveled intertwined interactions, and as affected by the interplay of various factors. It provides empirical evidence to supplement existing understandings of the nature of teacher student power relations, especially in a non-western context with varied socio-cultural, educational, school and classroom levels. Copyright © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-267
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number2
Early online dateJul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2016



Wong, M.-Y. (2016). Teacher-student power relations as a reflection of multileveled intertwined interactions. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 37(2), 248-267.


  • Hong Kong
  • Power relations
  • Primary schools