LEWI Research

“Loving My Political Opponents”: Political Disagreements and Marital Quality in Hong Kong.  


Political polarization among the public has become a major concern in many societies. The process of polarization has strengthened partisan identities and increased the amount of prejudice and anger directed against members of opposing groups. The increased hostility could cause particularly serious difficulties when couple partners differ greatly in terms of their political attitudes, behaviors, and identities. Unfortunately, few academic studies have investigated the prevalence, factors, and consequences of within-couple political disagreements. In particular, the relationship between within-couple political disagreements and marital quality has not been thoroughly investigated. It remains unclear why some families are more vulnerable to these conflicts than others in times of political polarization. Hong Kong provides an interesting and important case study for the investigation of the relationship between political polarization and marital relations. Public opinion polls have an increasing polarization towards a wide range of political issues. Citizens with different political orientations have developed a strong sense of antagonism and hatred toward members of out-groups. Given that political polarization has become a major issue in many societies nowadays, how do married couples with different political orientations maintain their marriage and interact with each other in a highly polarized political context is an important question that remains inadequately addressed in the literature. The main purpose of the proposed study is to investigate in detail the relationship between within-couple political disagreements and marital quality. The proposed study aims at answering five related research questions: 1) How are differences in political attitudes and values, behaviors, and partisan identities associated with different dimensions of marital quality? 2) How does the strength of association between political disagreements and marital quality compare with the a

CHEUNG, Ka Lok, Adam (PI), CHAN, Kit Wa, Anita (CoI)


General Research Fund, Research Grants Council, Hong Kong, Amount $987,755, 2022-2024