Conditions for migrant mothers' socioeconomic disadvantages in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-175
Journal / PublicationAsia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


The present study utilizes both survey and interview data to examine the socioeconomic disadvantages in terms of limited social support, poverty, and nonemployment in migrant mothers in Hong Kong, China. It seeks to understand the disadvantages from a social distance perspective, which holds that social distance hinders access to employment, and social and formal support. This article surveyed 837 mothers living in two impoverished communities. A subsample of 72 migrant mothers participated in follow-up in-depth interviews. Findings indicate the socioeconomic disadvantages and reveal some local conditions for the disadvantages. Specifically, the norms of childcare and self-reliance, social stigmatization of welfare recipients, and remote residential community come to shape migrant mothers' experiences of caring for young children. These findings provide implications to social work practitioners for targeting migrant mothers to reduce their social distance from local community resources. © 2012 Department of Social Work, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

Research Area(s)

  • China, Hong kong, Low-income community, Mothering, Poverty, Social distance, Social support, Women immigrants