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Welfare attitudes and social class: the case of Hong Kong in comparative perspective

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Based on a survey of Hong Kong residents, this article explores the attitudes towards the welfare state and whether or not there are significant differences between different social classes with regard to their approval of the welfare state. The findings were then compared with those for Sweden and the USA. The study shows that Hong Kong residents strongly approve of the welfare state. The strength of their support is similar to that in Sweden and is far stronger than in the USA. In Hong Kong, the influence of social class on attitudes towards the welfare state is negligible. In some cases, the privileged classes expressed greater approval for the welfare state than the underprivileged classes. This is in striking contrast to the experiences in Sweden and the USA where the underprivileged classes are more supportive of the welfare state than are the privileged classes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong 2: Department of Sociology, Lingnan University, Hong Kong

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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