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Abstract

Many social issues exist for marginalized youth in the New Territories of Hong Kong, despite Hong Kong’s high standard of living. Increasingly, attention is being paid to social mobility of Hong Kong’s younger generations. Youth in the New Territories face academic, economic, social and cultural barriers, in part due to tracking into low-ranked Band 3 schools. In order to better understand these barriers, this study took a phenomenological approach to understanding selected youth’s perceptions and perspectives on these barriers. This qualitative case study, being both exploratory and descriptive, developed thematic findings across interviews, field observations and document analysis in order to understand disadvantaged youth’s personal perceptions and attitudes of youth social mobility. Youth and teacher interview participants also took part, to varying degrees, in the programs provided by Hong Kong-based NGO, Project Share. The study attempts to further our understanding of the lived experiences and perceived social mobility barriers unique to these marginalized youth. Findings illustrate issues that NGOs, practitioners, school officials and policy makers may want to consider when approaching work with disadvantaged youth and attempting to understanding youth issues in Hong Kong from the youth perspective.