Discourse on the Traditional and Modern Conceptions of Social Harmony among People of Hong Kong and Tianjin
This paper examines the concept of “social harmony” through focus group discussions conducted in two metropolises in China, namely Hong Kong and Tianjin. Specifically, this paper investigates whether the concept of social harmony, which is an important concept and societal goal in traditional Chinese culture, has retained its original meaning or has been renewed in modern times. The paper begins with a review of the literature on harmony and social harmony in order to distinguish the similarities and differences among the traditional and modern conceptions of these terms. This is followed by a description of the findings from the focus group discussions in Hong Kong and Tianjin to uncover what people associate with the concept of social harmony, and their understanding of the traditional and modern concepts of this term. Based on these findings, the paper concludes with a discussion on the current situation regarding the preservation and renewal of the traditional cultural concept of social harmony in Hong Kong and Tianjin.