Resources mitigating the impediment of discrimination to the acculturation success of students migrated to 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)372-382
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009


While discrimination against immigrants and resources for them likely influence immigrants' acculturation success, how various resources moderate the influence of discrimination has not been clear. Achievement and social integration are indicators of acculturation success. From structural-functionalist theory, resources that mitigate the adverse influence of discrimination are likely to be those functional to the host society or its social integration. Earlier social integration with the host society thus may be a crucial determinant of acculturation success, partly by mitigating the adverse impact of discrimination. Conversely, resources such as welfare reception, affiliation with an organization in the home place, and fluency in the language of host society may aggravate the detriment of discrimination. These expectations are sustainable with a study of secondary school students who migrated from the Chinese mainland to Hong Kong. Among the 1243 students, 416 had come to Hong Kong within 2 years. The supportive findings indicate that acculturation success in the face of discrimination would require early social integration into the host society and disconnection from the home place. Importantly, while fluency in the host language appeared to be conducive to acculturation success, it aggravated the adverse effect of discrimination on the success. Hence, communication in a discriminative context would be dysfunctional to the operation of host society. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Acculturation success, Discrimination, Social integration, Structural-functionalist theory