Feeling Close to Fellow Citizens in Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand

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)25-48
Journal / PublicationSocial Indicators Research
Issue number1
Online published23 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


Feeling close to fellow citizens in the city is a feature of social cohesion that is worth investigation among East Asian societies for exploring societal conditions for the closeness. Because of the variation of such conditions among the societies, differentials in the closeness among the societies are possible. As the variation of societal conditions can translate into differences in personal characteristics and experiences, such differences are likely to explain differentials in the closeness. This likelihood is a focus for the present study, which surveyed 4,087 adult citizens in Hong Kong (n = 681), South Korea (n = 1,006), Taiwan (n = 1,200), and Thailand (n = 1,200). Results revealed significant differentials in the closeness among the societies, showing that it was highest in Thailand and lowest in Taiwan. Furthermore, these differentials were largely due to differences in personal and characteristics among citizens in the four societies. Among the significant predictors of the closeness, work-family conflict and the costliness of medical expense are two experiences. The two experiences, as well as other predictors, champion a conflict or social force explanation for citizens’ closeness. Accordingly, conflict or social force that is incapacitating would estrange the incapacitated individual from others. The results and explanation imply that relieving work and family conflicts is relevant to lifting citizens’ closeness. In conclusion, the East Asian societies manifested differentials in citizens’ social cohesion, and the differentials are explicable by differentials in resources and conflicts among the societies.

Research Area(s)

  • Social cohesion, Social quality, East Asian, Work-family conflict, Job stress