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  • Morality, Class and the Hong Kong Way of Life

Morality, Class and the Hong Kong Way of Life

Thomas W.P. Wong, Tai-lok Lui

English , 1993/01 HKIAPS, Occasional Paper Series Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, CUHK

Tags: Hong Kong Studies

215 x 140 mm , 36pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-962-441-030-3

  • US$4.50

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Morality, Class and the Hong Kong Way of Life A survey of some recent studies of Hong Kong society reveals a convergent tendency to pose the question of the nature of the moral outlook of the Hong Kong people and its relationship to the development experience and the way of life of the society. This paper attempts a sketch of the morality on the basis of survey findings on the perceptions and value orientations of the Hong Kong people with a view to stimulating future efforts in conceptual formulation of the problem and in the construction of specific hypotheses for empirical testing. The argument of the paper is in two parts. First, the mobility opportunities in the post-war development of the society have instilled an openness ideology which is individualistic, economistic and capitalistic in nature. Moral concerns are prima facie indifferently treated, as practical results and success are competitively pursued. But at the same time, there is some indication that the quest for an open and free society is not reducible to purely economic, profit-related interests. Secondly, the Hong Kong people are realistic in their evaluation of their personal career opportunities; they believe that there are inequalities and conflicts between the rich and poor; in particular, they have a low sense of political efficacy. Pragmatic, even fatalistic, acceptance characterizes their social and political mores. They are hardly concerned with the moral implications of their individual action or the outcome of such behaviour. The paper ends with a few comments on the societal reasons for such amorality and the conditions for its change.

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