On-going Research Projects:
Project title: Sense of Belonging of Hong Kong Shue Yan Students
PI: Mr. Lam Chak Wing, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, HKSYU
This research study aims to find the social and psychological factors influencing the sense of belonging of students of Hong Kong Shue Yan University.
Project title: 「From Ketamine to Ice: Neutralisation Techniques and Risk Perception of Adolescent Drug Abusers
PI: Dr Li Hang, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, HKSYU
Co-I: Prof. Cheung Yuet Wah, Distinguish Professor, Department of Sociology, HKSYU
(Public Policy Research Grant funded by Central Policy Units)
Duration: Aug 2017 – Jul 2018
From the early 2000s until recently, ketamine was the most popular psychoactive drug among young drug users in Hong Kong (Cheung 2015; Cheung & Zhong 2014; Joe Laidler 2003, 2009), however, methamphetamine has become increasingly popular in the recent years (Narcotic Division 2016). This research will examine the latest changes in the drug scene, particularly the upsurge of methamphetamine consumption among young drug users. Researchers in Hong Kong have been conducting studies of adolescent drug use since the 1990s. However, there is an urgent need to examine emerging drug use patterns and to understand recent changes in adolescent drug use behaviour. The proposed study will fill this gap by examining how illicit drug use, particular the use of ketamine and methamphetamine, is “normalised” among adolescent drug users in Hong Kong.
The objectives of the proposed study are as follows: (1) investigate the ways young drug users neutralise the stigma attached to them; and (2) elicit their experience of negotiating risk and pleasure during the course of drug consumption. How do young drug users manage the negative labels attached to their behaviour with respect to different psychoactive drugs? How do they perceive the risks associated with the use of ketamine and methamphetamine? What are the differences in the social settings of ketamine and methamphetamine consumption (party drug versus non-party drug)? The answers to the above questions will help us to understand why methamphetamine is gaining popularity among young drug users.
There have been few studies of neutralisation techniques and risk perception among adolescent drug users in Hong Kong. These ideas have been mentioned in the literature but not systematically studied. Adopting a differentiated normalisation perspective, the proposed study will fill these gaps by collecting data through: (1) qualitative interviews with drug users; and (2) qualitative interviews and focus groups with outreach and drug treatment workers. The findings are expected to provide an empirical foundation for the development of targeted and effective education and prevention programmes.
Project title: ‘People without identity: Exploring the social experiences of asylum seekers in Hong Kong’
PI : Dr Lau Pui Yan, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, HKSYU
Faculty Development Scheme (FDS) Grant funded by Research Grants Council (RGC)
Duration: Jan 2016 – Dec 2017
The aim of this exploratory study will be to examine how asylum seekers, i.e. individuals who leave their country of origin to seek international protection and whose status as refugees has not yet been confirmed (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2014), survive in Hong Kong. Although clearly significant,this population of asylum seekers is nearly invisible in the local context. The key issue of this study is: how do asylum seekers cope with marginalisation in Hong Kong society? The proposed study will apply a sociological lens to explore and analyse the life experiences, social connections and self-perceived identities of asylum seekers as a marginalized group.
The classical sociological concept of stigma (Goffman, 1963) will be used as an entry point for the study. The study will also use the theory of social capital (Woolcock, 1998) as a conceptual research tool and explore how asylum seekers connect to each other, different social groups, NGOs and society at large. Qualitative research methods will be used to explore these dimensions. Specifically, in-depth interviews will be conducted with asylum seekers and NGO practitioners.
This study is expected to make the following contributions to the existing research. First, it will bring the topic of asylum seekers, which is a rarely studied but undoubtedly significant sociological issue, into the field of local academic research. Second, the findings of this study will help policy makers to design improved policies regarding asylum seekers in Hong Kong, especially in the areas of immigration and extra-legal activities.
For further information: http://stu.hksyu.edu/~newsletter/?p=3598