Journal of Youth Studies

January 1999

Volume 2 . Issue No. 1

Serial No. 3

Feature: Youth and Politics

Youth Development in the 21st Century - Rosanna WONG
Rosanna WONG
Executive Director, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups
Member of the Executive Council, HKSAR

[Abstract] The youth of Hong Kong have long been criticized for their apathy towards political involvement and participation in public services under colonial rule. As Hong Kong has entered an historical watershed where the responsibility of governance lies wholly with the people of Hong Kong, the future of our society depends on two inter-related components : leadership and youth. To sustain our success and competitiveness into the 21st century, it is essential that all efforts are made to engage and encourage the youth of Hong Kong to develop leadership skills and qualities. Leadership training requires more specialized instruction than that which is currently available in formal school education. It involves, not only to inculcate in them an attitude of commitment and responsibility to the community, but also to provide instruction on enhancing knowledge, skills and abilities of social planning and administration, as well as policy formulation. The government is urged to support the initiatives of youth organizations which provide such training for our young.
Youth Participation: The Role of the SAR Government - Peter Y. F. LO
Peter Y. F. LO
Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs, The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.

[Abstract] Young people are valuable assets of our community. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has set out the direction for promoting youth development in order to equip our young people with the necessary skills to meet the challenges of the 21st century. The Government will work closely with the Commission on Youth and other organisations to promote leadership training; to expand opportunities for voluntary work; to develop international exchange programmes and to enhance young people's knowledge and understanding of the Mainland. To provide a focal point for youth development, the Government has embarked on a plan to re-develop the Chai Wan Community Centre into a central facility for our young people.
Enhancing Youth Participation – The Role of NGOs - Justina LEUNG NGAI Mou Yin
Justina LEUNG NGAI Mou Yin
Director, The Boys' and Girls' Clubs Association of Hong Kong

[Abstract] Young people are our most precious human resources. They are our future leaders. Delicate care and nurture will help them acquire a balanced and healthy development, grow up to be competent and contributive members of the society. Young people will actualize themselves through participation. Providing adequate opportunities and platforms for young people to express their views and take part is an important area in promoting youth development which needs concerted effort of the society. Non governmental organizations play a key role in enhancing youth participation through setting a model by creation of more channels, promoting community education, facilitating better use of resources, advocating policy formulation and strengthening collaboration amongst different sectors.
Hong Kong Youth's Political Orientation and Participation - Rowena Y.F. KWOK
Rowena Y.F. KWOK
Assistant Professor, Department of Politics and Public Administration, the University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] Hong Kong youth in general have a rather low level of concern for and cognition of, leave alone participation in, social and political affairs. To effectively bring changes to such phenomenon, sufficient channels must be opened up to enable youths to participate in decisions that affect their lives and future. It is also only through participation and practice that youths will feel respected, develop critical thinking, as well as learn to respect different opinions.
Youth Think Tank – Implication on Youth Political Participation - MOK Hon Fai, James
MOK Hon Fai, James
Centre-in-charge, Mei Lam Youth Centre, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

[Abstract] We always hear that it is difficult to arouse the interest of the young people to participate in political issues. As I know, the young people always feel that politics is difficult and boring. They have no confidence to give accurate and appropriate opinions. In addition, they also hesitate that whether their opinions will be considered or not. In the past, few related activities gave effectively response to these questions. This always made the front-line workers feel frustrated. "Youth Think Tank" is a project organized by 7 children and youth service units in Shatin. It aims at arousing young people to concern more about the policy issues and the performance of the Government; encouraging them to express their opinions; and mobilizing them actively intervene into the social agenda. This essay tries to respond to the above questions. Experiences about how to breakthrough the difficulties mentioned above will be consolidated from this project.
The Setback and Prospects of Youth Participation - HO Man Kit, Raymond
HO Man Kit, Raymond
Chairman of 33rd New Asia College Student Union, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Chairman of 4th Sha Tin Youth Council

[Abstract] The adults dominate Hong Kong society. In order to facilitate youth participation in public affairs, public acceptance of their uniqueness is essential. Elimination of the prejudice and misunderstanding against the youth may also help. From the authors' experience, limitations of the new generation in participation in social affairs are shown. The direction in the youth affairs development is also suggested in this essay.
Developing Leaders for the 21st Century - Experience of the University of Hong Kong - SHEN Shir Ming
SHEN Shir Ming
Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences, The University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] The rapid changes taking place in the society and the establishment of the Special Administrative Region have created huge demand in high quality human resources in Hong Kong. As major providers of higher education in Hong Kong, universities have the responsibilities to close the gap between the needs of the 21st century and the higher education. The standard of university graduates, however, has been severely criticised with the expansion of higher education. This article investigates the rationale behind such adverse comments and introduces a comprehensive leadership training programme named the Intensified Learning Opportunity Programme or ILOP in short. ILOP is one of the projects which the University of Hong Kong has devised to ensure that crops of outstanding graduates will be developed to meet the challenges of the new millennium. The vision and the construct of the programme as well as a pre-mature review and evaluation of the programme are also presented.
Classmates' Influence on Young People's Intention to Vote in Political Election in Hong Kong - Chau-kiu CHEUNG Kwan-kwok LEUNG
Chau-kiu CHEUNG
Kwan-kwok LEUNG
Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] In this study, classmates' effect on students' intention to vote is examined along with other determinants. Political attitudes and other data were collected from 1,766 randomly selected senior secondary school and tertiary education students. Analyses reveal that classmates' intention to vote had a significant positive effect respectively. Besides, political awareness, support for direct election, support for lowering the voting age, political tolerance, trust in politicians, trust in Chinese government's guarantee, and participation in various organizations each evince significantly positive effects on the student's voting intention.

Pan-Chinese Societies Exchange

The Role of Youth in the Age of Information Technology - ZHANG Bingfu
ZHANG Bingfu
Assistant Professor, Guangzhou Youth Research Institute

[Abstract] The development of information technology does not root out the basic rule of human organizations. There is continuity in the development from former society to modern society, the process cannot be severed. But information technology will change some aspects of human society. To study youth issues, it is necessary to consider the subjective selecting activities of the person. It is the link from micro level to macro level. In complex society, the difficulties for human beings to make sensible choices are bigger than before, this maybe one of the reasons of so many juvenile delinquencies in modern society. Social categories do not necessarily mean less than social classes, especially when people are not starving. The distinguishing process based on specific kinds of standards produces the potential for social structure to be developed. This is especially the case when young people are concentrated in schools or some other places, like the workers used to be in factories. Information technology will enhance the intensification of democracy process, and thus make the needs of youth to be institutionalized. The greatest danger in nowadays are individualism, and individualism in a bigger sense, that is, the benefits and merits of groups ---- country is just another form of group benefits. The human society seems to use a 'mice in the maze' method to adjust these different benefits.
The Change on Familial Child-rearing Functions and Adolescent Welfare Needs — An Approach on Adolescent Welfare Policy - Hua Yuan TSENG Richard P. S. WANG
Hua Yuan TSENG
Professor & Chair, Department of Social Work, Tunghai University
Richard P. S. WANG
Professor, Sociology Department, National Taiwan University

[Abstract] Families are the significant social unit on developing healthy adolescents. Nevertheless, under rapid social changes, the familial functions in Taiwan are getting trivial. Hence, Adolescent Welfare Policy not only serves the substitutional service, but also broadens the developmental services in order to empower familial child-rearing practices and parental effectiveness as well.
Urban Youth Work: Challenges for Social Work Education - Mohd Maliki OSMAN Sudha NAIR
Mohd Maliki OSMAN
Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work & Psychology, National University of Singapore
Sudha NAIR
Director, Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centres/Part-time Lecturer, Department of Social Work and Psychology, National University of Singapore

[Abstract] Youths of today are the adults and leaders of tomorrow. However, some of them fall between the cracks of the societal systems and enter the social service systems as clients. There is a need to equip social work students with the knowledge of the special needs of these youths. A crucial aspect of preparing students to be youth workers is to assess the level of knowledge and awareness on different topics involving youths. The paper reports the results of two surveys conducted on students enrolled in a course on "Urban Youth Work" at NUS to assess their knowledge on cross-cultural issues and child abuse. These students were found to have limited knowledge and awareness of these two topics. While it is normal for them to be ignorant at this time, their willingness to be challenged on such sensitive issues speaks well of their passion and commitment to be youth workers. The implications of these findings on social work education are also discussed.
An Overview for Youth Studies in Macau - Penny Y. Y. CHAN
Penny Y. Y. CHAN
Chair, Executive Committee, The Macau Juvenile Delinquency Research Society
Associate Professor of Sociology, Macau Polytechnic Institute
[Abstract] This article reviews the current major studies and services related to the youth of Macau. Due to the increasing seriousness of the youth problem, the Macau youth policy has shifted from the focus on the development of the adolescents to the problem prevention. A great deal of youth activities has been promoted by both government and private organizations in this year with the theme of juvenile delinquency prevention. In addition, the Macau government started to cooperate.
Access to Justice : An Examination for the Juvenile Justice System in Hong Kong - Jacky PANG
Jacky PANG
Senior Research Officer, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

[Abstract] This article starts to describe the characteristics on the administration of justice in juvenile justice system in Hong Kong. It further examines some of the existing mechanisms that facilitate the rehabilitation of young offenders. Finally, it tries to outline the areas needed to be improved for a better Juvenile Justice system in Hong Kong.

Professional Exchange

The Adjustment Problems of Children and Youth from Mainland China - HO Kit-wan
HO Kit-wan
Lecturer, Department of Applied Social Studies, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

[Abstract] In recent years, the number of people from the mainland has been increasing drastically. It has increased from the original 75 persons per day to the present 150 persons per day. Due to socioeconomic reasons, most of the new arrivals are young women and children. These new arrivals face different kinds of problems in their daily lives. Policy makers and service providers begin to recognize their problems. Government and some funding bodies allocate some resources to non-government organizations to run programs for these people. Adjustment programs are usually provided to this minority group, since service providers and even policy makers attribute the encountered problems a result of adjustment difficulties. Some people attribute these problems to culture shock. Some attribute this to the problem of acculturation. These attributions are widely accepted in the public. This paper tries to examine the nature of problems new arrivals (only children and youth) are facing, and tease out the causes behind them. The proposition is that structural and human factors, which is mainly discrimination, rather than deep-rooted cultural factors are the causes. Finally, a direction for service provision is also suggested.
Social and Psychological Factors Affecting Post-Treatment Drug Use of Young Treated Addicts in Hong Kong - Yuet Wah CHEUNG Wai Ting CHEUNG  James M. N. CH'IEN
Professor, Department of Sociology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Graduate Student, Department of Sociology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
James M. N. CH'IEN
Honorary Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong/Founding President, Pui Hong Self-Helf Association

[Abstract] This paper examines the influence of social and psychological factors on the drug use status of young treated addicts after receiving treatment and rehabilitation services. Data were extracted from a group of 53 male former clients of SARDA whose ages were between 25 and 35 and who were part of the larger sample of the "Follow-up Study of Former SARDA Clients" conducted in 1996. The theoretical framework was derived from several deviance theories, including control theory, self-efficacy theory, labelling theory, and differential association theory. Variables pertaining to these theories were divided into three broad categories, namely, social support variables, psychological well-being variables, and drug subculture variables. Results show that all these variables were significantly related to post-treatment drug use status. Implications of the findings for treatment and rehabilitation services in Hong Kong are discussed.
Feminism and Youth Work - FUNG Kwok Kin HUNG Suet Lin, Shirley
FUNG Kwok Kin
Lecturer, Division of Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong
HUNG Suet Lin, Shirley
Social Work Supervisor, Caritas Community Centre - Tsuen Wan

[Abstract] While working with girls or young women has been a concern in the West, youth workers in Hong Kong rarely see the relevancy of Feminism to youth work. The authors, after introducing Feminism briefly, draw the implications of Feminism on youth work mainly in twofold. Feminism offers a perspective in analyzing the stereotypes, the imbalance gender power relationship and the social construction of gender while working with youth. The implications of Feminism on youth work objectives and working approaches are discussed. The objectives of youth work is to minimize the effect of sex role stereotypes, to reinforce self worth of young girls, to redress the unequal gender power relationship among peers and to facilitate reflection on the social construction of gender. Youth workers can consciously integrate the gender perspective in running girls and young women's groups.
The Quality of the Today Youngsters : The Way Ahead – A Reflection after some China Exchange Programmes - SO Oi King
SO Oi King
Senior Student Counsellor, Hong Kong Technical College (Chai Wan)

[Abstract] During some China Exchange Programs, different occasions in meeting with young students from Hong Kong and China had been arranged, quite a lot of significant differences between them could be easily observed. The writer tries to figure out some of the main differences, especially the common characteristics of nowadays youths. The quality of the young generation is being repeatedly complained as deteriorating, what are the reasons behind? How can the situation be improved? To the writer, education process in Hong Kong should play a more active role in improving the quality, or even the value setting and mentality of the younger generation. A more lively and interactive schooling environment with focusing not only on the delivery of knowledge but also more emphasis on positive valve, common sense and daily life wisdom in a more guiding manner, may be one of the possible re-engineering to education.
Promoting Women's Health in Hong Kong - Linda WONG
Linda WONG
Director of Hong Kong Federation of Women's Centres

[Abstract] Hong Kong Government has adopted a narrow policy and programme focus on women's health. This means an exclusion of girls, unmarried and other women. The Government needs to widen the philosophy of services which not primarily target at women as childbearers, but examine women's health needs along a spectrum of needs throughout their lives. More researches should be conducted to explore the health needs of women. In addition, focus should be placed on three areas:(1) Improve the accessibility of women's health (2) Promote women's health education; and(3) conduct gender-training to health professionals. Besides, the Government needs to set up a Women's Health Unit for policy, research and planning.
"Letter Box of Uncle Longleg" — An Experience of Letter Counselling - CHAU Yuk Ying WU CHEN So Fong
CHAU Yuk Ying
Convenor of working group on "Letter Box of Uncle Longleg", Evangelical Lutheran Church Hong Kong - Children and Youth Service
Senior Social Service Coordinator, Evangelical Lutheran Church Hong Kong - Social Service

[Abstract] During the growing up process, children face many challenges. There may be frustration, stress and developmental hazards. They need support and guidance from adults whom they can trust. "Letter Box of Uncle Longleg" is an innovative counselling service for adolescents studying primary 4 to 6 or junior secondary school. Using the medium of letter, children are encouraged to express themselves when facing problems related to family, courtship, friendship and study. Also, letter writing is a convenient and secure medium, comparing with conventional face to face interviews. Its high accessibility makes children more willing to disclose their personal feelings and problems. It makes help seeking less stressful for young children. The project was started in 1994 in our Yuen Long Children and Youth Centre. Now it has been jointly organized by five centres. For the past four years, more than seven thousand letters have been received from more than three thousand adolescents. The response is very encouraging. On the average, each writer has written about four letters.
Effects of Social Change during the Transition on Cognition, Emotion and Attitude of Youth in Hong Kong - CHAN King Chuen
CHAN King Chuen
Information & Research Manager, Breakthrough

[Abstract] The main objective of the study is to explore how the young generation perceive themselves and the rapidly changing society before the transfer of sovereignty in 1997. Telephone survey was used to collect data from 504 young people aged 15 to 29, while face-to-face survey was employed to explore the opinions of 973 university students. In addition, twelve focus groups, including three categories of young people, were conducted. The study finds that: 1) young people's analytical ability was not as poor as we believed; 2) most young people were very realistic; 3) fidelity was still strong among young people who also emphasized moral principles; 4) young people tended to use avoidance or negative attitudes while facing difficulties; 5) young people were ambivalent toward the concepts of democracy and freedom, they also had a strong sense of individualism and political helplessness; 6) young people had reservation over emigration because of the possibility of family and social problems caused; 7) although young people did not like mainland immigrants, they recognized their strengths; 8) concerning attitudes toward job, young people were middle class oriented and mainly looked for well-paid and stable executive jobs; and 9) young people participated in various kinds of leisure activities including sporty and light, personal as well as group ones. Also, television and radio programmes strongly influenced young people's daily life.
The Implementation of Civic Education in Hong Kong Schools: Problems and Issues - TSE Kwan Choi
TSE Kwan Choi
Assistant Professor, Department of Education Administration and Policy, the Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] The political changes of decolonization and reintegration with mainland China pose new challenges of civic education for Hong Kong schools, but the civic education movement in the mid-1980s onwards was problematic to fulfil the mission of preparing Hong Kong students for citizenship and the political change after 1997. This paper evaluates the recent objectives, contents and implementation of civic education in the formal and informal curriculums; and questions their impacts on local students' learning of social-political orientation. Finally, this paper discusses important issues concerning the strategies and policies of future civic education programmes in local schools.
The Nature of Parent-Adolescent Conflict in Hong Kong - Daniel T. L. SHEK, JP L. K. CHAN
Daniel T. L. SHEK, JP L. K. CHAN
Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] Chinese adolescents and parents were interviewed individually to examine the frequency and nature of parent-adolescent conflict and their narratives were content analyzed. Results showed that the frequency of parent-adolescent conflict was generally not high, although the mothers, relative to the fathers were perceived to have more conflict with their children. For the nature of parent-adolescent conflict, parents' and children's narratives consistently showed that "academic matters", "going out", "family matters" and "sibling issues" were four areas over which parent-adolescent commonly occurred. Although no gender differences were basically found in any area of mother-adolescent conflict, some gender differences were found with regard to issues related to father-adolescent conflict.