A sociological analysis of social exclusion : the case of new immigrants in Hong Kong

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A sociological analysis of social exclusion : the case of new immigrants in Hong Kong


Author: Chan, Mei-ha Gloria
Title: A sociological analysis of social exclusion : the case of new immigrants in Hong Kong
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2006
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Immigrants -- China -- Hong Kong -- Social aspects.
Marginality, Social -- China -- Hong Kong.
Discrimination -- China -- Hong Kong.
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: i, 240 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2165661
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/1030
Abstract: This study is an attempt to understand how new immigrants from the mainland China deal with a new social environment. We are mainly concerned with the extent to which new immigrants experience social exclusion. The role of social service providers and the family are highlighted. One of the special features of this study is the employment of the extended case method suggested by Michael Buroway. This method which in fact is a methodology provides a guideline for the selection of theoretical framework and the objectives of this research. Regarding the choice of theories, our aim is to re-build, and refine, a theory of interest. We select the process model as a point of departure of this study. As for the objective, we aim at the construction of a theory for the study of the adjustment experience of new immigrants. The objective has been realized through three parts of tasks. The first part is the general depiction of the history of the inflow of immigrants from the mainland to Hong Kong and found that many new immigrants were socially excluded, measured in terms of the degree of participation in consumption, production, political engagement and social interaction. We also found an increase in government intervention in response to the needs of new immigrants. We then go further to explore the implications of increasing provision of social services to newcomers in the second part and, finally, found that this intervention resulted in exclusive and negative responses to new immigrants. Different from the arguments suggested by the process model, social service is a double-edged sword, bringing forth both positive and negative effects on new immigrants. We also refute a linear model of social integration on the basis of our findings that adjustment is not a straightforward process. The third part reveals the necessity of an analysis of family. While theorists of process model may ignore the role of family, we found that family positions influenced the pathway a person takes in the process of adjustment. Our findings also draw our attention on the need for an analysis of inter-generational communication.

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