Volume 6, Issue No. 1 (Serial No. 11) Building Up Social Capital : A United Effort

Journal of Youth Studies

January 2003

Volume 6 . Issue No. 1

Serial No. 11

Feature : Building Up Social Capital : A United Effort

The Concept of Social Capital: Conceptual Analysis and Critique - Daniel T.L. SHEK
Daniel T.L. SHEK
Professor, Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] This paper examines the concept of Social Capital with reference to its definition, types, and related theories. An assessment of methods and sources of Social Capital are also explored. A critical review shows that there are several limitations of the use of the concept and related research. These criticisms include: a) the vagueness of the concept; b) non-clarity of assessment methods; c) the concept appears to be "old wine in a new bottle"; d) the problem of logical circularity in explaining economic development; e) inadequate attention paid to negative aspects of Social Capital, f) equivocal and inconclusive empirical support for the link between Social Capital and economic development; and g) conflicting claims on the decline in Social Capital. While the concept of Social Capital and related research are attractive, one must be conscious of the related criticisms.
Network Building and Social Capital Development: Relevance to HKSAR at the Cross-Roads of Social, Economic, Cultural and Value Changes - WU Wai-yung, Raymond
WU Wai-yung, Raymond
Chairperson, Community Investment and Inclusion Fund Committee

[Abstract] The existence of strong interconnecting networks of relationships is often an indication of a society’s social capital potential, its resilience and capacity to cope with radical changes. HKSAR is currently caught in the global “third wave revolution” where new solutions to new challenges are called for. Within this global context, the relevance and robustness of traditional social structures and relationships to effectively respond to radical, fast-paced and large-scale changes must also be seriously re-assessed. Locally, HKSAR is at a crossroad facing fundamental social, economic, cultural and value changes. This article discusses the possible impact of this global third wave revolution and unique local context on social relationships and network-building as part of social capital development in HKSAR.
Contribution of the Mutual Aid Committees and Owners’ Corporations to the Promotion of Social Networking - Stephen FISHER
Stephen FISHER
Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs

[Abstract] Social networking is an important social asset. The HKSAR Government is committed to the promotion of community participation and social networking. To this end, the Government has encouraged residents of buildings to form Mutual Aid Committees and Owners’ Corporations. Through their various functions and activities, these organizations help improve the living environment and foster neighbourliness, which is conducive to increasing public participation in community affairs and the establishment of cohesive social networks.
News Media, Government and Social Cohesion in Hong Kong - Clement Y. K. SO
Clement Y. K. SO
Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] To promote social cohesion, the news media and government both play critical roles. The press in Hong Kong can adequately reflect public opinion, but it needs to make improvements in taste and credibility. Suffering from questions about its legitimacy, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has not performed well and sometimes gives the impression of not listening to public opinion. The news media in Hong Kong must make positive changes on their own, while the government should adopt a pro-Hong Kong stand, build a more democratic political system, respond to public opinion and show real results. These moves are conducive to better social cohesion in Hong Kong.
Promoting Inclusion Through Social Participation - Anna WU
Anna WU
Chairperson, Equal Opportunities Commission

[Abstract] Social inclusion is key to maintaining the well being of a society, a strengthening factor to sustainable development. A fair society exists when people feel a sense of belongings and differences between individuals are respected. And this is what equal opportunities is about, building a society based on meritocracy. Every individual is unique. What we emphasize is to ignore irrelevant factors, regardless of whether an individual is male or female, married or single, with or without a disability, and offer them a fair chance to go as far as their talents and abilities can take them. This paper reviews the social changes of Hong Kong and public perceptions of women, persons with a disability and single parents. It also examines ways to promote social inclusion. The work of the Hong Kong Equal Opportunities Commission in fighting against discrimination and building a harmonious society is documented.
Knowing is Easier Than Doing: Hong Kong People’s Awareness and Condition of Social Participation - Timothy Ka-ying WONG Chack-kie WONG
Timothy Ka-ying WONG
Research Officer, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Chack-kie WONG
Professor, Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] Based on data from two separate survey projects, this paper systematically examines Hong Kong people’s awareness and condition of social participation in the first five years after the change of sovereignty on 1 July 1997. The results reveal, that while people’s awareness of social participation is strong and positive, their actual social participation remains relatively weak. This phenomenon matches the Chinese adage that “Knowing is Easier than Doing” It also echoes Lau and Kuan’s depiction of Hong Kong residents before 1997 as being “attentive observers” Nevertheless, compared with the situation following the Handover, it appears that five years later people’s actual social participation has improved quite significantly. Cross-tabulation results also show that people with higher education levels tend to have greater social participation. Hence, expanding education could be one way of promoting social participation in Hong Kong. However, as social participation is crucial to the healthy development of citizenship, the development of citizenship in Hong Kong can only be made more mature after the enhancement of social participation.
_Re-building of Trust between the Government and the Public - Anthony B.L. CHEUNG
Anthony B.L. CHEUNG
Professor, Department of Public and Social Administration, The City University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] This article explores the problems of Hong Kong in the perspective of social capital and social cohesion and points to the decline in the sense of belonging of Hong Kong people as well as the decline in the level of their trust in political institutions. The root cause of such a crisis in identity and trust is related to the lack of a sense of community with a common destiny and mission. The lack of room for citizen participation and citizen empowerment in public affairs within the current political design is also a factor. It is argued that citizenship has to be put back to the governance agenda in order to rebuild social cohesion.
Is “Social Capital” Related to “Civil Society”? ──Rethinking Putnam’s Thesis - Agnes KU
Agnes KU
Assistant Professor, Division of Social Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

[Abstract] In the 1990s, Putnam put together the two different concepts of “civil society” and “social capital”. His thesis has now become prevalent in political and academic circles in the United States, which reflects the historical and conservative intellectual roots of the society. To a certain extent, the concept of “social capital” helps focus attention on civil society’s internal associations, civic engagement and communal ties. However, in discussing the issue of social capital, attention must be paid to the larger question of how to build up a democratic and vigorous civil society.
Locating Social Capital in a Self-Help Organization: As Compared to the Analysis of Andre Gorz on Autonomy Economy - Meilin WU
Meilin WU
Co-Ordinator, Hong Kong Women Workers’ Association

[Abstract] Through the experience of a women’s co-op in the Chinese University, this article explores the value of non-capital logic within the discourse of “Social Capital” In comparison to Andre Gorz’s concept of the “Autonomy Economy”, this article tries to establish a critical perspective by locating “Social Capital” under the framework of “State Redistribution? “Market Competition” and “Communal Reciprocity”.

Pan-Chinese Societies Exchange : The Status of Civic Education

Civic and Moral Education in Primary and Secondary Schools in Mainland China - ZHOU Chang-hu
ZHOU Chang-hu
Director, General Office, National Center for School Curriculum and Textbook Development, Ministry of Education of China

[Abstract] The objective of civic and moral education in primary and secondary schools in China is to foster students into becoming good citizens who love their socialist country, abide by the law, behave politely, and possess social morality. The basic morality of Chinese citizens are loving the country; observing the law; being sensible and honest; being cooperative and kind; being thrifty, industrious, self-reliant and devoted to work. Civic education in primary and secondary schools places strong emphasis on social morality, law and civil responsibility.
Citizenship Education in Taiwan - Meihui LIU
Meihui LIU
Professor, Graduate Institute of Multicultural Education, National Hualien Teachers College

[Abstract] As a result of Taiwan’s peculiar political situation, citizenship education has become a crucial issue. This paper analyzes the changing paradigm of citizenship education from 1980 onwards, focusing on the ways by which politics has affected citizenship education. This paper begins with the analysis of the current education reform. It then examines the changing paradigm of citizenship education. Finally, it indicates the challenges that citizenship education has encountered and makes some suggestions.
National Education in Singapore: Policies and Challenges - Jason TAN
Jason TAN
Associate Professor, Policy and Management Studies, Nanyang Technological University

[Abstract] This article focuses on the National Education policy initiative that was introduced into all Singapore schools by the Ministry of Education beginning in 1997. The initiative aims at developing a sense of national identity, an awareness of Singapore’s recent history, an awareness of Singapore’s developmental challenges and constraints, as well as a confidence in the country’s future. The article describes the origins of the initiative and discusses some challenges that policymakers need to grapple with as they attempt to ensure the success of this initiative.
Civic Education in Macau: Status and Future - CHEANG Hong Kuong
CHEANG Hong Kuong
Member, Board of Academic Department, Macau Chinese Teacher’s Association

[Abstract] Macau is an open city, which blends western and eastern culture, values and ideas. In spite of this, Macau people live together in a unique blend of harmony and unity. Although Macau has been governed by foreign forces for a long time, the patriotism of the local Chinese people never wavered or waned. Macau is considered to be the “Monte Carlo of the East” but the beautiful flower has blossomed out of a soiled past. For 400 years, the Portuguese ruled Macau, during which time little was done for the education of Chinese people. Now, the time and opportunity has come for Macau, back the sovereignty of China, to establish a viable education system based on traditional moral values and to further develop the good religious values instilled in the hearts of the people in Macau. In this new era, civic education needs to be advanced, so that Macau’s fine traditions can be carried on into the future.
Civic Education Before and After the Handover: Some Reflections from Social Capital Perspectives - LEE Wing On
LEE Wing On
Head, Centre for Citizenship Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education
Member, Curriculum Development Council

[Abstract] Hong Kong has experienced substantial changes in its political circumstances before and after the handover. These political changes have had much impact on the development of civic education. This paper attempts to compare the development of civic education in Hong Kong before and after the handover, with a particular focus on the impact of changing political circumstances. Another focus of the paper is on the situations of civic education since its handover. This includes a review of the development of the civic education curricula, the implementation of civic education in school, student’s concepts of citizenship, changes of civic identity among Hong Kong people, and the paper is concluded with a review from social capital perspectives. The paper concludes with an observation that Hong Kong people have a sense of belonging, but not much sense of security. They participate in social networks, but focus on conventional citizenship activities (such as voting) and socially oriented activities, rather than politically oriented activities. Socially, they feel they make some contributions to the society, but politically they also feel powerless.

Professional Exchange

Understanding the Youth Videos in Hong Kong with Special Reference to their Implications on the Subjectivity of Young People - CHAN Chi Tat, Larry
CHAN Chi Tat, Larry
Video Art Practitioner, Youth Worker, Secondary School Teacher

[Abstract] The "Youth Video" is a kind of socio-cultural practice that emphasizes the independent thinking of young people. This paper suggests an approach to understand the youth videos in Hong Kong with special reference to their implications on the subjectivity of young people. The author does not endeavour to point out any practical suggestions in areas of pedagogy, social work intervention or art education, but rather expects that developing an understanding approach could help readers respond to their practical or research concerns as relevant to their own contexts.
Cyber Influences on the Youth and Related Policies in South Korea: Focus on Internet - Imho BAE
Imho BAE
Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, Soong Sil University

[Abstract] Information and communication technology has been greatly extended and has become a hot issue both domestically as well as internationally, particularly in South Korea for the last decade. Its rapid development in a relatively short period of time has changed many aspects of the society by bringing advantages and disadvantages, and dramatic influences in values and behavioral patterns of Korean youth. Information technology and its impact on the youth, however, seems to be ignored for social work education and practice, although the social work profession has a strong commitment to societal needs. This paper deals with the recent development of information technology and Cyber youth culture. Its impact on young people is visible in both fulfilling their needs and providing unexpected possible harm. Finally, recent countermeasures and policies in Korea dealing with these undesirable influences have been discussed along with suggestions for future direction.
Democratic Citizenship and School Civic Education: A Case Study on Civic Learning through School Students’ Association Activities - LAI Pak-sang WU Siu-wai
LAI Pak-sang
Lecturer, Department of Educational Policy and Administration, Hong Kong Institute of Education
WU Siu-wai
Lecturer, Department of Educational Policy and Administration, Hong Kong Institute of Education

[Abstract] Participatory citizenship is a recent development trend of modern citizenship. Democratic Citizenship Education (DCE) in school has an important part to play in post-1997 Hong Kong society, facing important developments of political integration, of knowledge-based economic restructuring and of globalization. The informal curriculum of school civic education helps provide practice-based learning in citizenship for students through students’ association activities, which help raise their democratic awareness and related civic competencies. In addition, the DEC programme needs to be reformed to cope with future changes of the society.
Helping an Adolescent with Dual Diagnosis: A Strengths- Based Orientation - YIP Kam-Shing
YIP Kam-Shing
Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences

[Abstract] Dual Diagnosis has become a problem among adolescents in Hong Kong. Adolescents are disturbed by both substance abuse and mental problems. In this article, the author tries to contrast the disease orientation and the strengths-based orientation in helping an adolescent with schizophrenia and the abuse of hallcinogens.
On the “Psyche Love” of Adolescent Idol Worship - YUE Xiao Dong
YUE Xiao Dong
Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] This paper proposes to define the essence of adolescent idol worship in terms of a “Psyche love” Psyche is a mythical figure in ancient Greek literature as well as in one of Andersen’s fairytale stories. She represents beauty, persistence and endurance in Greek mythology but represents arrogance and coldness in Andersen’s fairytale story. In both stories, the love experienced by the worshipper was passionate, inspiring but non-reciprocal. So the Psyche love points to the passion, devotion, unilateral love, illusory intimacy that is typical of teenagers’ worship of idols. It also points to teenager’s tendency to over-idealize their idols and to develop romantic fantasies with them. Finally, it points to that broken dreams for much idealized idols could easily devastate a person and that people could only prove themselves by believing in themselves and in their efforts.