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Critical Youth Studies Reader

Preface by Paul Willis

Edited By Awad Ibrahim and Shirley R. Steinberg

This book won the 2014 AESA (American Educational Studies Association) Critics Choice Award.

This reader begins a conversation about the many aspects of critical youth studies. Chapters in this volume consider essential issues such as class, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, cultural capital, and schooling in creating a dialogue about and a conversation with youth. In a society that continues to devalue, demonize, and pathologize young women and men, leading names in the academy and youth communities argue that traditional studies of youth do not consider young people themselves. Engaging with today’s young adults in formal and informal pedagogical settings as an act of respect, social justice, and transgression creates a critical pedagogical path in which to establish a meaningful twenty-first century critical youth studies.
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33 Hip Hop Pedagogies in/for Transformation of Youth Identities: A Pilot Project

← 384 | 385 →CHAPTER 33


You want to know why I don’t pay attention in English lessons? You really want to know? Okay, here’s the reason: NO INTEREST!! It’s so boring and difficult and I can never master it. But the society wants you to learn English! If you’re no good in English, you’re no good in finding a job! (said by a 14-year-old school boy in Hong Kong to the author in an informal interview; original in Cantonese)

Why Hip Hop Pedagogies? Hong Kong: The Setting of the Story

Despite its international, cosmopolitan appearance, Hong Kong is ethnically rather homogeneous. Over 90% of its population is ethnic Chinese, and Cantonese is the mother tongue of the majority. English native speakers account for a small proportion of the entire population. They had constituted the privileged class of the society until July 1, 1997, when Hong Kong’s sovereignty was returned to China and Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China. The English-conversant, bilingual Chinese middle class has, however, remained the socioeconomically dominant group in Hong Kong.

Notwithstanding its being the mother tongue of only a minority, English has been the language of educational and socioeconomic advancement; that is, the dominant symbolic resource in the symbolic market (Bourdieu, 1991) in Hong Kong. Even in the post-1997/colonial era, English has remained a socioeconomically dominant language in Hong Kong society. For instance, English remains the medium of instruction in most universities and professional-training programmes.

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