Document Type



Department of Education Studies

Conference End Date


Conference Title

Education, Ethnicity, and Inequality Symposium: Issues and Insights


This presentation examines the construction of ethnic identity in culturally diverse schools from a sociocultural perspective. Building on Hermans’ work on dialogical self, the presentation draws attention to the nexus between ethnic self and cultural others as a result of diverse in-the-head voices embedded in institutional environment of schooling. The first section discusses how self is considered through positing multiple I-positions that challenges notion of centralised self, opening up a conduit to probe how self is occupied by other individuals both in inner and outer world. In the second section, I argue that minority individuals’ ethnic identity construction related to schooling is negotiated through multiple levels of contextual layers actuated by different social actors (e.g. school leaders, teachers, administrators, peers, etc.), where they become different points of reference in establishing I-positions. I also look at the transpersonal dimension of institutions by briefly exploring how institutional practices and power could materialise in discourses that reinforce dialogical tensions in ethnic identity negotiation. These theoretical perspectives add to the discussion of identity-based research in culturally diverse schools of Hong Kong, offering researchers and educators an angle to examine and reflect on the complex interrelationships between in-school cultural resources and minority students’ ethnic identity construction that account for the unique learning environment of Hong Kong.

Conference Location

Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR


Ethnic identity, minority identity, schooling identity, minority education

Publication Date


Place of Publication

Hong Kong SAR