The interplay between ethnic and academic identity construction among South Asian students in Hong Kong tertiary education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This qualitative study investigates the interplay between the ethnic and academic identity construction of a group of university students with South Asian backgrounds in Hong Kong. The findings indicate that ethnic identity and ethnic socialization have protective and facilitative effects on learning motivation and academic achievement. It is found that these ethnic minority students receiving tertiary education, holding congruent views of ethnic and academic identity, display a sense of agency and critical reflectivity of both the host society and their heritage communities and see facilitating community uplift and developing a more positive social image of ethnic minorities as their generation’s responsibility. Reconstructing an ethnic identity and developing new social images therefore motivate them to pursue academic success. The findings indicate that the South Asian students figured out ways in which to interact with the outer world and set up new roles and spaces (i.e., a heritage community with more positive social image). The findings shed light on how to provide better opportunities for and assistance to ethnic minority students when they pursue higher education. Copyright © 2019 Springer Nature B.V.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHigher Education
Early online date16 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 May 2019

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Hong Kong
national minority
ethnic identity
education
student
community
learning motivation
academic success
academic achievement
socialization
assistance
responsibility
university
Group

Bibliographical note

Gu, M. M., Guo, X. G., & Lee, J. C.-K. (2019). The interplay between ethnic and academic identity construction among South Asian students in Hong Kong tertiary education. Higher Education. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10734-019-00391-7

Keywords

  • Ethnic identity
  • Academic identity
  • Ethnic minority students
  • Tertiary education
  • Hong Kong