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  • Educational and Early Socioeconomic Status Attainment in Hong Kong

Educational and Early Socioeconomic Status Attainment in Hong Kong

Tsang Wing Kwong

English , 1993/01 HKIAPS, Occasional Paper Series Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, CUHK

Tags: Hong Kong Studies

215 x 140 mm , 69pp ISBN / ISSN : 9789624410235

  • US$3.00

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Hong Kong residents believe that they are living in an achievement-oriented society, that is, status in the Hong Kong social structure is allocated in accordance with individuals' achievements rather than socially ascribed attributes. This conclusion, which has unambiguously been confirmed by social-psychological studies in the last two decades, will be verified in this study by objective status-attainment data. The data used in this study are generated from the Hong Kong 1981 census data. The attainment models guiding the analysis are Duncan's Basic Model, the Wisconsin Model, and the structuralist models. The study reveals that ascribed attributes, such as family background and sex, have significant impacts on the status-attainment processes of young men and women in Hong Kong during the 1970s. These ascribed attributes assert their effects mainly through their influence on educational achievement, which in turn imposes significant effect on occupational-status attainment. In other words, achievement and ascription have joined forces in a particular way in determining the attainment opportunities of young men and women in Hong Kong. At the crux of this ascription-achievement partnership is the educational system which acts as a mediator between social origins and destinations. Taken together, this study has revealed that achievement is by no means the sole criterion for the allocation of social opportunities as most of Hong Kong residents perceive. Ascription also find its way to assert itself into the attainment process mainly through the educational system.

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