High expectations and a low level of commitment : a class perspective of welfare attitudes in Hong Kong
Issues and Studies
National Chengchi University
welfare attitudes, welfare state, social class, class conflict, Hong Kong
Based on the data from a territory-wide survey of Hong Kong residents conducted in 2006, this article explores the current attitudes of Hong Kong people toward social welfare, the differences between the social classes, and whether or not there are significant differences between different social classes with regard to welfarism. It finds that Hong Kong people apparently tend to have high expectations but a low level of commitment in their welfare attitudes, lacking the kind of unity on the issue of welfarism seen in Sweden, the model welfare state in the West. In addition, there are no significant differences among the classes in Hong Kong with regard to attitudes toward welfare. This is certainly not congruent with the situation in many Western welfare states, where the underprivileged classes are significantly more supportive of the welfare state than the privileged classes both in terms of expectation and commitment.
This article is based on a research project entitled “Hong Kong as a Risk Society: Indicators of Social Development in Hong Kong 2005,” which was funded by the Research Grants Council of the University Grants Committee (RGC Ref. No.: PolyU5411/05H).
Wong, K. Y. T., Wan, P. S., & Law, W. K. K. (2008). High expectations and a low level of commitment: A class perspective of welfare attitudes in Hong Kong. Issues & Studies, 44(2), 219-247.