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Belonging in Troubling Times: Hong Kong as a Diverse Home for Hopes

[Event #6] Belonging in troubling times

Belonging in Troubling Times: Hong Kong as a Diverse Home for Hopes

Belonging in Troubling Times: Hong Kong as a Diverse Home for Hopes

26 May 2022 (Thu)

4:00pm - 5:30pm


Jan GUBE, Aaron CHAN (EdUHK)

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Jan Gube and Aaron Chan from the Education University of Hong Kong led this session, on the topic of Belonging in Troubling Times. The organisers of the Belonging Research Network first met Jan back in September 2021, at the very first Belonging Research Network seminar. We were struck at the time by the overlap between Jan’s interests and our own: we appeared to have a very similar understanding of the importance of belonging as a concept – particularly in education and for linguistic minoritized people – and of its contested nature, and also of the potential power of creative practice and visual methods in applied linguistic research on belonging.

Delving into Jan’s work is very worthwhile. He is a prolific and collaborative writer, and over the past ten years has published strongly:

  • On race and ethnic and cultural identity in Hong Kong,
  • On linguistic minority immigrant students in Hong Kong, in relation to classroom practice, teacher education, and schools as institutions,
  • On debates on multiculturalism generally
  • And on notions of community and diversity in education.

Recently some of his attention has turned to questions of belonging for Hong Kong’s minoritized communities, in the context of the recent social unrest in Hong Kong. Such upheaval can present an enormous challenge to a sense of belonging for minoritized communities, and not necessarily in a bad or negative way. In their discussion, Jan and colleague Aaron Chan described a research journey that explored young people’s perception of belonging, research that coincided with the protests of 2019. Against this backdrop they highlighted what it was like to belong to Hong Kong, and how this sense of belonging was experienced differently across cultural groups.


Jan GUBE is Assistant Professor at the Education University of Hong Kong. He is passionate about how engaging with diversity, race and ethnic issues contributes to the shaping of cultural identities and provision of equitable education.

Aaron CHAN comes from a Sociology background, and worked on the project that he and Jan spoke about. He now works in data analysis and market research.


Event Handouts, Materials & Recommended Readings

1. Event presentation slides

Gube, J. (2022, 26 May). Belonging in Troubling Times: Hong Kong as a Diverse Home for Hopes.

PowerPoint slides

2. Journal article Antonsich, M. (2010). Searching for belonging - An analytical framework. Geography Compass, 4(6), 644-659.
3. Book chapter Halse, C. (2018). Theories and theorising of belonging. In C. Halse (Ed.), Interrogating belonging for young people in schools (pp. 1-28). Palgrave Macmillan.

Jan speaking about belonging in troubling times

Aaron introducing their work

Jan opening up the discussion