Volume 2, Issue No. 2 (Serial No. 4) The New Generation under Economic Restructuring

Journal of Youth Studies

July 1999

Volume 2 . Issue No. 2

Serial No. 4

Feature: The New Generation under Economic Restructuring

Youth Employment and Attitudes towards Work - Rosanna WONG
Rosanna WONG
Executive Director, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

[Abstract] Youth in Hong Kong have been greatly affected by the economic restructuring brought about by the Asian Financial Crisis. It is an urgent task to increase the adaptability and competitiveness of low level educated youth who lack both work experience and work skills. In the long run, it is advisable for the government to consider the following: (1) to address the issues of youth unemployment using the most recent data analysis as a guide in developing appropriate strategies; (2) to encourage life long education so that young people are able to develop new knowledge and skills, including that of information technology; (3) to enhance the creativity and competitiveness of youth by both formal and informal education; (4) to strengthen youth counselling and supporting services for those who are unemployed or are in adverse economic environments; and (5) to help youth establish positive attitudes and values towards work.
The Employment Situation in Post-Industrial Society: The Way to Survive for Youth - Denny HO Kwok Leung
Denny HO Kwok Leung
Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Social Studies, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

[Abstract] This paper aims to give a brief account of the theories of post-industrial societies and then examines the social and economic situation in Hong Kong. The conclusion is that Hong Kong has entered into the post-industrial era, where knowledge becomes the means to enhance productivity and improve social relationships. Nevertheless, it is increasingly recognized that post-industrial societies might not lead to the elimination of social inequalities and unemployment. It is necessary to envisage the rise of new forms of social problems and to work out coping mechanisms for youth to deal with the new social conditions.
Continuing Education under Economic Restructuring - Enoch C. M. YOUNG
Enoch C. M. YOUNG
School of Professional and Continuing Education, the University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] From manufacturing to service industries, from low value-added services to high value-added services.…. Over the past decades, the economy of Hong Kong has undergone significant changes. Continuing education has performed an important social function of equipping the workforce to take up the new challenges throughout such changes. In the past two years, the Asian financial crisis has led to a recession in the Hong Kong economy, yet the demand for continuing education services surged instead of declined, testifying to the importance of re-education in a period of economic restructuring. The present article will explore the above issues. In addition, it will try to map out the various challenges to be faced by continuing education services in Hong Kong.
The Direction of Development of Youth Vocational Training - LEE Ngok
LEE Ngok
Executive Director, Vocational Training Council

[Abstract] This paper addresses the nature and responsibilities of vocational education and training, and the factors which influence such provisions. It uses the Hong Kong system as an example and describes the activities and development of the major provider, the Vocational Training Council (VTC). It details the VTC's key objectives and the factors influencing its current and future activities. The major initiatives concerning education in developing an integrated institution from its nine vocational institutions with newly designed courses and repositioning its training provision are briefly described. The paper details new initiatives resulting from economic retrenchment, to provide vocational courses for unemployed, below average attainment, secondary school leavers and the importance of basic generic language and IT skills in such courses.
Educational Reform under Economic Restructuring - CHUNG Yue Ping
CHUNG Yue Ping
Dean, Faculty of Education, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] Education is an investment in the human capital of society. It also helps social integration. However, many people still yearn for an elitist education system after 30 years of education. Segregation and vicious competition exist among secondary schools. Besides, education is unable to cope with the rapidly changing economy. In this new era, the Hong Kong economy will head towards the development of the financial and services sectors and the high-tech industries. Educational reform should consider the following: to train students to be “bi-literate and tri-lingual”; to popularize scientific activities; to cultivate creativity, to lighten the exam-oriented system; and to adjust resources for the assimilation of the new immigrants. At the same time, we should put an emphasis on the harmony of the society and the responsibilities of the individuals. Education should become diversified and flexible.
Employment : An Opportunity for School Dropouts
Hong Kong Council of Social Service Employment Service Lung Wah House Office

[Abstract] There are various reasons for youngsters to quit school before they have completed their junior secondary education. Their decision to take up employment should be regarded as a positive choice and an alternative to formal education. We see employment as a continuous learning and development process for our youngsters. However, helping them to choose their vocation or to prepare them for employment, should be the job of schools, parents, employment service agencies and youth service organizations. The support of the public and employer are of vital importance. Our youngsters need to be given opportunities to grow through employment. At present, youth unemployment is a serious problem in Hong Kong. Before it gets worse, the community should assess their role, including the youngsters themselves.
In the Midst of the Financial Crisis: The Experience of a Working Youth - SNOP (pseudonym)
SNOP (pseudonym)
Working Youth

[Abstract] Before the Financial Crisis, the author had a stable job. Since she was not involved in the stock market, she thought that she would not bear the repercussions of the crisis. Unfortunately, the turmoil affected everyone within a fortnight and her employer changed his attitude. Only when the author decided to change jobs did she find how quickly the market had changed. In this difficult time, she assessed herself critically and hopes that more effort may get her new opportunities.
Parents' Expectation on the Vocation of the Children - TIK Chi Yuen
TIK Chi Yuen
Chairman, Committee on Home-School Co-operation

[Abstract] Most parents have very high expectations regarding their children's career development. They always project their own expectations on their children, which exerts too much pressure on the child. Parents also think that a good performance in school means a more successful career. This is seen as the only way to achieve success. Hence a great deal of effort and energy is put into children's education. However, our education system only requires students to have good examination results. It makes our students good at memorization, without an all-round development. Moreover, the curriculum of our vocational training can be criticized as outdated and many parents do not want to place their children in vocational training. Therefore, if we want our young generation to make greater achievements in their careers, we need to reflect on the parent's role. Education system reform is also necessary.

Pan-Chinese Societies Exchange

Reflection: Lessons to be Learned by the Youth of Mainland China from the Asian Financial Crisis - Dai Yu Min
Dai Yu Min
Vice- Institute Chief, Youth Research Institute, China Youth & Juvenile Research Centre

[Abstract] South East Asian countries were badly affected by the Asian Financial Crisis over the last two years, and this must have affected the youth of Mainland China either directly or indirectly. The impact on young people, who form an integral part of society, will last for a considerable period, depending on the extent on the crisis.
The Asian Financial Crisis: An Inspiration for Youth Development in Taiwan
Hou-Sheng CHAN
Professor, Department and Graduate Institute of Sociology, National Taiwan University

[Abstract] The economy of Taiwan was not remarkably affected by the Asian Financial Crisis. However, since the software and hardware were not totally compatible, economic and social problems still arose. In the 90's, enterprises have been highly related to automation. In the 21st century, globalization further prevails. Together with the characteristics of post-industrial societies, the vocational future of youth will become insecure. Youth have to learn actively, possess professional skills and have the ability to understand the trends of world development. These are the ways to deal with the challenges of the next century.
Vision for Youth Development in the 21st Century—Defining the Singaporean Youth Creed
Complied by National Youth Council, Singapore

[Abstract] This paper maps out the visioning exercise, initiated by the National Youth Council as part of its consolidation and review of the state of the Singaporean youth sector. Presented here is the structure of the different activities that make up the processes leading to the creation of a youth vision. The findings and recommendations for action are not included here, as the vision exercise will last throughout 1999, culminating in a Vision Report, which will be compiled and presented at the end of the year.
A Study on the Length of Communication of Macau Junior Secondary Students with Parents, Siblings, Teachers and Peers - Titus Siu-pang LI
Titus Siu-pang LI
Faculty of Education, University of Macau

[Abstract] This is a product of a study on juvenile delinquency among school youth in Macau. This paper attempts to reveal the patterns and timings of communication of junior secondary school students at home and at school. It aims to assess the network of human relationships among students. The results indicate that students spend little time to communication with parents or teachers. Some of them do not even communicate with friends or classmates. It is therefore necessary to study youth problems in Macau in depth to ease the burdens of parents, teachers and the new SAR government.
What Hong Kong's Youth can Learn from the Asian Financial Crisis - HO Lok Sang
HO Lok Sang
Head , Department of Economics, Lingnan College

[Abstract] The youth of Hong Kong have become used to prosperity and stability over the years. The Asian Financial Crisis came as a shock. For the first time in many years, youth realise that a secure job and an ever rising income are not facts to be taken for granted. The ability to survive and to prosper must be grounded in a strong will, a humble mind, and a survival instinct. People from Thailand and Korea have demonstrated a strong will to fight and overcome all odds. The humble mind to learn, is exemplified well by the Chinese. We must not stake everything on contingent developments.

Professional Exchange

Physical Fitness and Lifestyle of Hong Kong Youth - FU Hookin Frank CHOW Bik Chu LOUIE Hung Tak KONG Zhaowei
FU Hookin Frank
Chair Professor & Head, Department of Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University
CHOW Bik Chu
Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University
LOUIE Hung Tak
Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University
KONG Zhaowei
Graduate Student, Department of Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University

[Abstract] "A good beginning is halfway to success". Having a healthy lifestyle and good exercise habits are important to youth. Research conducted by the Hong Kong Baptist University (funded by Hong Kong Sports Development Board) found that the physiological functions of Hong Kong youth (18-30 years old) are satisfactory. However, the overall percentage of youth who participate in exercise is low. In order to face the challenge of the new millennium, Hong Kong youth should be encouraged to participate in more physical recreational activities.
Research on the Taipei City Youth Counseling Committee and the Role of Parents in Coping with Juvenile Delinquency - HSU Meng Yzn
HSU Meng Yzn
Supervisor, Child Welfare League Foundation

[Abstract] The aims of this study were to: (1) understand the role stress of parents when they face their children's deviant conduct; (2) understand how parents cope with stress; (3) examine the thoughts and emotions affecting stressed parents; and (4) provide information to assist social workers in helping parents of delinquents. A qualitative research method was used and data were collected through in-depth interviews of 15 parents who are currently under the care of Taipei City Youth Counseling Committee. Findings in this study are as follows. (1) Parents of delinquents shoulder 3 major kinds of stress related to their roles: confusion, conflict and overload. The stress mainly comes from children, parents themselves, and other people. (2) At the early stage of coping, interviewees wanted to protect their children and tried to resolve the problems. By the middle stage, interviewees tried to escape and give up. They hesitated and were disappointed. Some parents suffered from physical disorders, such as insomnia and stomach aches. By the final stage, interviewees blamed themselves and looked for counseling agencies to share their painful, exhausted, and frustrated feelings. Based on the results of this study, different advice was given for social legislation, and to counseling agencies, and juvenile's parents.
Comparing Idol Worship and Role Model Emulation in Youth and Adolescence - YUE Xiao Dong
YUE Xiao Dong
Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] This paper discusses the use of a hexagonal model in comparing idol worship and role model emulation amongst youth and adolescents. A questionnarie was designed to examine who were deemed to be the role models and idols of today's youth, in terms of idealism versus realism, romanticism versus rationalism, absolutism versus relativism. The questionnaire also asked the respondents to name their favourite idols or role models. 277 high school and university students in Hong Kong and 549 high school and university students in Nanjing were randomly selected to complete the questionnaire. The results provide convergent support for the hypothesised hexagonal model. Adolescents in Hong Kong were found to be significantly more attached to idealism-romanticism-absolutism oriented celebrities, than their counterparts in Nanjing. This paper concludes that social learning and attachment (SLA) is essential to having idols and that a distinction may be made between a person-focused SLA and an attribute-focused SLA.
Reflections on School Life : A Study on Schooling and Innovations in School Education - LAI Pak-sang WU Siu-wai
LAI Pak-sang
Lecturer, Department of Educational Studies, Hong Kong Institute of Education
WU Siu-wai
Lecturer, Department of Educational Studies, Hong Kong Institute of Education

[Abstract] Since adopting the free and compulsory education for all young people in 1979, Hong Kong has been implemented many school educational innovations. School life is based on elitism and streaming has to be changed to keep in line with innovational changes in mass education. This paper investigates, the perspective of young people, schooling and its relationship with innovational changes. It suggests that alienation of students and pragmatism in education, which are not comparable with innovational goals and spirit make youth study and school reform problematic.
Hong Kong's Alternative Night Life ──A History of the All-Night Outreaching Service for Hong Kong Runaways - Peter NEWBERY David SHUM
Executive Director, Youth Outreach
David SHUM
Deputy Executive Director, Youth Outreach

[Abstract] An all night outreaching program was first started in Hong Kong in 1992 in an effort to reach young people who were hanging out on the streets without going home. Initially existing models of outreaching work were employed. However experience showed that although there was a great need for this kind of work existing models were inadequate to deal with this kind of situation. Modifications were made to the service model in terms of service goals and operating procedures, staffing and administration in the light of experience so as to meet the specific needs of this kind of service. The effectiveness of these modifications as seen in the number of young people subsequently reached and re-inserted, through professional social work intervention into a non-deviant social context clearly supports the effectiveness of these changes.
A Case Study of Girl Delinquency in Hong Kong - Dennis S. W. WONG
Dennis S. W. WONG
Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] In response to the upsurge of crimes by girls, the author conducted a study on the deviation process of girl delinquency in the new town of Tseung Kwan O. The study adopted the method of in-depth interview of 20 girls aged between 11 to 18. Based on the girls' background, deviation process and the nature of crimes committed, the author identified the typology of girl delinquency such as "occasional", "drifting" and "structural" deviants. Except for the "occasional" deviants, all the girl delinquents went through a similar deviancy process. In this process, factors such as family bonds, school bonds, gang involvement, self-esteem, gender ideology and deviant behaviour interact in a reciprocal manner. The author recommends schools and relevant bodies to conduct parent effectiveness training, to empower girls and to free them from the influence of gender stereotyping and peer gangs.
Youth and Deprivation: Rethinking Anti-Oppressive Practices in Youth Work - Wallace K.C. SHIU Victor C.W. WONG
Wallace K.C. SHIU
M.Phil. Student, Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Baptist University
Youth Social Work, Tsuen Wan Integrated Youth Service Centre, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups
Victor C.W. WONG
Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Baptist University

[Abstract] The paper is aimed at discussing the complexity, multiplicity and dynamics of the relationship between youth and deprivation, and exploring the implications for anti-oppressive practice in youth work, whereby both the process and task goals of anti-deprivation and anti-oppression are emphasized. It is argued that the philosophical underpinnings of youth work have to be well deconstructed for critical thinking and reflective practice. Informed by the perspective and concepts of youth citizenship and structural youth work, the authors argue for the importance of three modes of alternative practice which can help bridge the personal, the structural and the political, namely, transformative practice, dialectical practice and finally subject-led practice.
A Critical Review on Youth Substance Abuse: Looking for a New Paradigm - Harris M. K. HAR
Harris M. K. HAR
M. Phil. Student, Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Baptist University

[Abstract] This essay aims at formulating new paradigms to help us comprehend the drug phenomenon in Hong Kong. This is in order to construct some alternative realities other than the one constructed by the dominant paradigm, prohibitionism, so that its hegemonic meaning on drug and drug users can be challenged and more meaning liberated from the drug phenomenon. The mainstream paradigm on drug abuse is first analyzed and then contrasted by other new paradigms including liberalism, structuralism and post-structuralism. Finally, a reading strategy informed by post-modernism is proposed to handle different paradigms in making sense of drug phenomenon.