Youth in Hong Kong: Education, Career, and Politics in Global Context

Stephen W K Chiu, Shiru Wang


This paper discusses the situations facing the Hong Kong youth under a global context from three angles. First, the global expansion of higher education resulted in many Hong Kong youths being “promoted” to the higher education system. Such change consequently generated numerous alterations in their life cycles, including prolonged adolescence, delay in employment, marriage, and birth, and revised expectations on career and life development. Second, against the milieus of economic globalization, structural transformations, and expansion of higher education, a large number of degree-holding youths entered the labor market, causing credential inflation, reduction in the return to education, and deterioration in the employment terms for young people. Third, in the context of recent “global uprisings,” anti-globalization and anti-authoritarianism have become the hallmarks of youth movements worldwide. The unique Mainland–Hong Kong contradictions and internal political constraints have given rise to the localist anti-authoritarian movement seeking democracy in Hong Kong and produced a populist pro-independence movement.


Keywords: Career and Life Planning, Education, Youth in Hong Kong, Youth Social Movement

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