School-to-work transitions of young people in a risk society perspective: A study of four youth groups with different levels of educational qualifications in Hong Kong

  • WONG, Victor C W (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

This research is a qualitative study focused on examining and comparing the school-to- work transition experience of four groups of young people with different levels of educational qualifications in Hong Kong. The first group is early school leavers who failed to finish secondary school education. The second group refers to those who failed the public examination for Form 5 or Form 6 students. The third group refers to those who did not manage to pursue studying a sub-degree or degree programme subsidized by the government in spite of getting pass scores with the public examination. Finally, the more privileged degree holders are the fourth group. Informed by the risk society perspective, the study aims at 1) examining a diversity of young people’s perception and negotiation of risks and opportunities with reference to their school-to-work transition experience and their social positions; and 2) identifying the relationship between youth aspiration pursuance and the context and experience of their transitions to work. It is assumed that these young people’s navigation to work are characterized with risks and boundedness, which are constituted by the interlocking relations between agency and structure as illuminated in regards to stratification, commodification, individualized responsibility, and individual aspirations. Purposive sampling is deployed for the study to help maximize the discovery of young people’s perceptions and management of risks and opportunities and pursuing their own aspirations during this transition journey. In drawing samples for each of the four respondent groups, three sampling criteria are taken into account, namely, 1) gender: males vs. females; 2) class: relatively disadvantaged vs. relatively favorable background by using the median monthly domestic household income as the dividing line; and 3) social status: those who are not versus those who are in education, employment or training at the time of face-to-face interview. Against the backdrop of ongoing global economic crisis which has made ‘school-to-work’ pathway a major public policy in market economies, this research study would fill in a research gap leading to a more critical understanding of the diversity of young people’s perceiving and negotiating risks and opportunities and pursuing their aspirations on their transitions from school to work, which can help shed light on addressing the complexity of school-to-work transitions in a post-industrial service economy like Hong Kong, which is characterized by a shift from manual work to a mix of service and knowledge-intensive forms of labor.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/01/1531/12/16

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