Diversity and Trust in Hong Kong : An Examination of Tin Shui Wai, Hong Kong’s ‘City of Sadness’

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-454
Journal / PublicationSocial Indicators Research
Issue number2
Online published12 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


The present study examines factors associated with social cohesion, looking specifically at the relationship between community diversity and generalised trust in Tin Shui Wai, a remote low-income town in Hong Kong, known locally as the ‘City of Sadness’. The study uses a mixed-methods approach in the form of a household survey and focus group interviews. A total of 100 respondents completed the household survey, 42 individuals participated in focus group interviews. Findings revealed that community diversity was negatively associated with trust among respondents. High levels of distrust were evident from qualitative discussions. Group and community participation were both predictive of trust among respondents, as were perceptions of community harmony and safety. Further research territory-wide across Hong Kong using a longitudinal approach is suggested to provide a deeper understanding of the impact of diversity on levels of trust, and changes across time of the developments between trust and diversity in Hong Kong.

Research Area(s)

  • Community diversity, Hong Kong, Social capital, Social cohesion, Trust