After the Social Movements in 2019: Examining the Association between Online Civic Participation of Hong Kong’s Young People and their Real-life Civic Participation

King Man Eric Chong, Shun-shing Pao, Lawrence Ka-ki Ho, Hoi-yu Ng


This paper investigates the relationship between online civic participation and their real-life civic participation among Hong Kong young people. Online participation and social media were found to be conducive for possibilities of civic engagement among young people. Hong Kong saw several big social movements in recent years, and the wide participation of young people has caught worldwide attention. There are speculations that online civic participation has led to their real-life participation. Attempting to explore this question, this study utilized a validated questionnaire to investigate the relationship between online and offline civic participation among 1,057  Hong Kong young people in 2020, when the mass participation in the anti-extradition bill was just over. The result found that internet political activism and online critical perspective have a possible statistically significant effect on young people’s interest in politics, interest for social and civic participation, off-line citizenship self-efficacy, and active participation for social change. Generally speaking, this study confirmed online civic participation has an effect on offline civic participation, though young people tend to engage themselves online rather real-life participation. Our findings also support the correlation between youth’s offline and online civic participation. Other emergent social and education questions such as digital citizenship education can be followed suit.


Online participation; Offline participation; Civic engagement; Digital citizenship education, Young people; Hong Kong

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