Migration and identity : a study on the Chinese teenage immigrants and their implications to social services delivery

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Migration and identity : a study on the Chinese teenage immigrants and their implications to social services delivery

 

Author: Lo, Choi-ling Fanny
Title: Migration and identity : a study on the Chinese teenage immigrants and their implications to social services delivery
Degree: M.A.
Year: 1998
Subject: Teenage immigrants -- China -- Hong Kong
Chinese -- China -- Hong Kong
Identity (Psychology) in adolescence -- Social aspects
Social service -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong (China) -- Emigration and immigration -- Social aspects
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Studies
Pages: xii, 96, [5] leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1446558
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/4689
Abstract: This dissertation is an exploratory study on the identity formation and development of Chinese teenage immigrants in the local context, after their migration from Mainland China to Hong Kong. The yearly increase of 54,750 Chinese legal immigrants has accounted for nearly half of the population increased in Hong Kong in 1997. The needs and problems of the Chinese immigrants have become a hot issue. There are some local studies on the immigrants' adaptation in Hong Kong, showing that the teenage immigrants have encountered difficulties in adjustment to the livelihood here. As the label, 'identity', 'signifies a series of complex processes that orient the Chinese teenage immigrants in the Hong Kong society, this topic is certainly worthy to be studied. Through interviews with four immigrants who are aged between 11 and 19 and have migrated from Mainland China to Hong Kong in 1995 and 1996, the processes of identity formation of the Chinese teenage immigrants in Hong Kong are revealed and portrayed. Besides, the fathers of the two younger immigrants have also been interviewed to enrich the information provided by the teenage immigrants. There are some significant findings emerged from the data. Firstly, migration had threatened the Chinese teenage immigrants' senses of identity in Hong Kong. It had broken their senses of continuity by the changes in their places of residence and living conditions. Alongside the changes of social and relational context of the immigrants after migration, there were also changes in their senses of distinctiveness, perceived social image and accrued confidence in obtaining appropriate feedback from others. The relational context of the four immigrants studied at this research include: family, peers and school-related persons, as well as the community (including neighbour). The threats to the immigrants' senses of identity and their perceived relations with others had possibly led to and affected the immigrants' various aspects of needs and different styles of coping. As derived from the findings, two elements may be identified in their coping. With insights gained from the identity statuses suggested by Marcia, the two elements ban be labelled as 'exploration of possibilities in identity development as Hong Kqng people' and 'commitment in identity development in Hong Kong'. Moreover, the four immigrants seem to have the four identity statuses put forth by Marcia. These identity statuses are: identity achievement, foreclosure, moratorium and identity diffusion. More importantly, the factors underlying the four immigrants' different styles of identity formation and development seem to be the levels of family and community support they attained. These two kinds of support were found to stem from the immigrants' relational context, if the context were perceived to be good. The support from family seemed to encourage the immigrants' coping in their identity development in Hong Kong. On the other hand, the support from peers and school-related persons, as well as from the community (including neighbour) seemed to facilitate the immigrants' coping. In view of the findings on the processes of identity formation and development of the Chinese teenage immigrants in Hong Kong, the identity statuses of the immigrants, and the significant roles of family and community support in the immigrants' coping and needs fulfillment, there are some implications drawn for our social services delivery and related policies.

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