This paper applies an active life course approach to the context of self-financed Associate’s degree (AD) education in Hong Kong to explore the agency and precarities of youth navigating the transitional spaces of education. Based on 40 in-depth interviews, group discussions, participant observation, diary studies and grounded theories, I describe AD students’ loss of dignity, path dependency and experience of giving up on their dreams. I argue that these specific emotional/affective precarities are created by Hong Kong’s education system together with societal norms and expectations regarding education. However, by using and reworking their affective relations with others, young people can subvert these precarities to plot a new life course, seek agency and find meaning through integrating chronopolitics and the practices of care. The paper enriches understanding of the geographies of educational and youth precarities, emotion/affect, chronopolitics and the life course approach.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Social Psychology
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Sociology and Political Science
- Hong Kong
- Life course