Including the views of the public in a survey of poverty and social exclusion in Hong Kong : findings from focus group research
Social Indicators Research
Poverty, Social exclusion, Focus groups, Consensual methods
There has been growing research interest into poverty and social exclusion in Hong Kong over the past 30 years. However, the development of surveys in this field continues to be primarily ‘top-down’ or ‘expert-led’. ‘Bottom-up’ or ‘lay’ perspectives, utilising the views of ordinary members of the public, are rarely incorporated. This article discusses the use of consensual focus group methods to advance the theory and practice of poverty and social exclusion measurement in Hong Kong. By adapting the UK Poverty and Social Exclusion Study 2012 to the Hong Kong context, the article reports on public perceptions of the necessities of life and understanding of social exclusion. The study found a strong social consensus about what items and activities constitute an acceptable standard of living in Hong Kong. Furthermore, whilst social exclusion was an unfamiliar concept, participants were able identify and explain experiences such as discrimination (affecting new arrivals), geographical isolation, a culture of long-working hours and poor access to health services as key elements.
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Lau, M., Gordon, D., Pantazis, C., Sutton, E., & Lai, L. (2015). Including the views of the public in a survey of poverty and social exclusion in Hong Kong: Findings from focus group research. Social Indicators Research, 124(2), 383-400. doi: 10.1007/s11205-014-0802-8