Journal of Basic Education


2008.第17卷第2期(Vol. 17 No. 2).pp. 159–174


The Cultural and Civic Identity of Cross-Boundary and Newly-Arrived Students From Mainland China

袁月梅(Celeste Yuet-Mui YUEN)





This article is a qualitative research output. It aims to investigate the cultural and civic identity of cross-boundary students (CBS) and newly-arrived students (NAS) from Mainland China from three aspects: (1) their views of Hong Kong society, (2) views of their “Hong Kong” and “Chinese” identity, and (3) their desired place of future residence. Data were collected from six primary schools in Hong Kong. Research methods included: in-depth interviews with the two target student groups, their teachers, principals and parents; student tracking; picture recognition (of famous political figures or places in Mainland China and Hong Kong) and a short essay on “My Country”. This article mainly reports on the findings of student interviews. The research found that although both student groups had a positive view of Hong Kong in general, they had a very limited understanding of the political and socio-cultural aspects of Hong Kong society. Regarding their cultural and civic identity, the CBS, compared to the NAS, were found to be at a more transitional and exploratory stage and more uncertain as to whether they were “Hong Kongers” or “Chinese”. They were also less certain about choosing Hong Kong as their desired place of future residence than the NAS. In contrast, although more NAS identified themselves as Chinese, they were more certain about choosing Hong Kong as the desired place of future residence than the CBS.