Perceived vitality of age categories in california and hong kong

James T Harwood, Howard Giles, Richard Clément, Herbert Pierson, Susan Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This paper examines young people’s assessments of the subjective vitality (SV) of young, middle-aged, and elderly targets in Hong Kong and California. This emerged from an interest in the application of the SV framework to age, which is a new development. In addition, we were interested in the relative strength ascribed to the elderly in the two cultures, given western conceptions that the elderly are revered and respected in Asian cultures. The results indicate that, relative to young targets, the elderly are rated as having less vitality in Hong Kong than in California—an effect that was contrary to our expectations. The middle-aged are seen as having the highest vitality across both cultures. These findings are discussed in terms of recent developments in vitality theory, and the political situation in Hong Kong.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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