1st Edition

Hidden Youth and the Virtual World
The process of social censure and empowerment

ISBN 9781138604599
Published May 10, 2018 by Routledge
256 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

Hidden Youth and the Virtual World examines the phenomenon of ‘hidden youth’ or hikikomori, as it is better known in Japan as well as Hong Kong. Exposure to the Internet has allowed these young persons to develop a high level of capability within the virtual world, however these are skills that are not highly valued by society. This book uncovers the truth about hidden youth, the causes, coping strategies, power relations between them and adults in society, and their relationship with the virtual world. Key topics surrounding the phenomenon of hidden youth are explored in detail, including:

  • The framework of Social Censure Theory
  • The theoretical concepts of hegemony and the impact that labelling by the Government, the media and institutions has had on hidden youth
  • The willingness of the hidden youth to remain hidden within the virtual world
  • Subcultures as a platform for hidden youth empowerment

This is a particularly useful volume to researchers in child and adolescent psychology, clinical psychology, counselling and psychotherapy, school psychology, sociology, social work, and youth policy; as well as youth workers, school counsellors and mental health professionals, and will appeal to the interest of both academics and practitioners alike.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. Literature review  3. When Social Censure meets hidden youth  4. The creation and enactment of social censure: From deviant youth to hidden youth  5. The coping strategies and resistance of hidden youth  6. Virtual world and hidden youth  7. Subculture as a platform to empower hidden youth  8. Conclusion and remarks

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Gloria Hongyee Chan – School of Social Sciences, Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong


This new book provides a brand new perspective to understand more thoroughly about the young people nowadays, their challenges and the constraints they have to cope with in a post industrialized modern state. Young people are not hidden; they may simply be ignored by many of the adults. – Mark Li, Senior Lecturer, Hong Kong Baptist University