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Open Access Youth work, prosocial behaviour, and micro-foundation of working-class solidarity among vocational school students in China

This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.

Despite the large number of working-class students having to work while attending schools, their work experience and the potential of class solidarity have been largely unaddressed. By bringing in a social psychological perspective, this article revives the sociological debates of working-class solidarity and challenges the defeatist view of solidarity since the neoliberal turn of the global economy. This article comprises two studies. In Study 1, a working-class solidarity measure (WCSM) was developed through interviews, followed by factor-analysis of a vocational school sample in China (n = 509). In Study 2, we validated the factor structure of the WCSM and adopted structural equation modelling to show that prosocial behaviour positively predicted solidarity among vocational school students (n = 2534). Contrary to the understanding that the working-class is divisive and fragmentary, our work shows that working-class solidarity can be built and consolidated through layers of prosocial behaviours by students with work experience.

Keywords: China; prosocial behaviour; work experience; working-class solidarity; youth

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong 2: Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong 3: Department of Sociology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Publication date: July 4, 2023

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