The normative ideas that underpin welfare-to-work measures for young people in Hong Kong and the UK

Wai Kam YU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to study the similarities of the normative ideas underpinning the welfare-to-work measures for young people in Hong Kong and the UK. These normative ideas include the two respective Governments' views on their ideal model of the relationship between individual and society, and Etzioni's and Confucian ideas on how people's attempts to fulfill social obligations can reduce moral deficits. It is believed that the study of these issues contributes to the examination of the ethnocentric bias in the analysis of social welfare and different ways that non-Western governments organize social welfare in response to foreign ideas. Design/methodology/approach – The paper starts by discussing the ethnocentric bias in the study of social welfare. Then it examines the similarities of the normative ideas of the welfare-to-work measures for young people in Hong Kong and the UK, and discusses how the examination of these similarities helps us understand the ethnocentric bias in the analysis of social welfare. Findings – The paper shows the ethnocentric bias arising from over-emphasizing the differences between the ways in which social welfare is organized in Western societies and non-Western societies, and the ethnocentric bias arising from taking for granted that people in non-Western societies passively accept the dominance of Western models in shaping the development of their social welfare system, even if it appears that Western ideas share many similarities to their indigenous ideas. Originality/value – The paper shows different types of ethnocentric bias in the analysis of social welfare and different possible ways that non-Western governments could organize social welfare in response to foreign ideas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-393
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Volume28
Issue number9-10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2008

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Hong Kong
  • Social welfare
  • United Kingdom
  • Youth

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