Youth Studies and Timescapes: Insights From an Ethnographic Study of "Young Night Drifters" in Hong Kong's Public Housing Estates

Julian M. Groves, Wai Yip Ho, Yu Kwan Siu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This article draws on insights from the sociology of time to examine how scheduling influences social interaction and identity among young people and those who work with them. Drawing on an ethnographic analysis of "Young Night Drifters" and youth outreach social workers in Hong Kong's public housing estates, we create a framework to understand youth in the context of time scheduling. Certain time schedules provide opportunities for young people to enjoy greater intimacy and looser authority structures. The particular scheduling of young people's activities can expose them to delinquent groups and activities and isolate them from mainstream society. Time is also a marker that creates new identities and shapes interactions between youth workers and their clients. By focusing on the timing of youth activities, we redress an imbalance in the literature on youth studies which has been preoccupied with space.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-566
Number of pages19
JournalYouth and Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • delinquency
  • Hong Kong
  • space
  • time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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