Generational Differences in Social Values. Trust, Tolerance, and Attitude toward Migrants

Francis L. F. Lee


In recent years, generational differences have been the subject of fervent public discussions in Hong Kong. Whereas many commentators and analysts have discussed young people’s adoption of postmaterial values, this study extends the analysis of generational differences in social and cultural values to notions of interpersonal trust, social and political tolerance, and attitudes toward migrants. These values and beliefs deal with how people view the
so-called “others” in society. Analyzing data from three telephone surveys conducted between 2012 and 2016, this article shows that young people in Hong Kong were once indeed open toward various kinds of “others.”  However, these people are also likely to consider social inequalities a big problem and see outsiders as abusing social welfare. These perceptions also influence their attitude toward migrants. Consequently, in 2014 and 2016,
young people are no longer as open toward migrants as senior citizens.


Keywords: Attitude toward Migrants, Generational Differences, Social Values, Social and
Political Tolerance, Trust

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