Social tolerance of homosexuality: the patterns of Chinese societies




Hu, Alexi Tianyang

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In this thesis, three culturally similar yet distinct Chinese societies, China, Taiwan, and Singapore, are analysed in the context of their (in)tolerance towards homosexuality. Although they share many cultural similarities rooted in Chinese cultural heritage, these three societies are not always socially and politically homogenous. Differences in the political and social systems among the three societies contribute to divergences in social tolerance of homosexuality. Therefore, social tolerance of homosexuality and the social mechanisms behind it are explored in this thesis in order to comprehend the three Chinese societies better. The thesis starts with an introduction to the primary purpose of the research and contextualises homosexuality in historically traditional Chinese culture. It then discerns whether Chinese people are more or less homophobic compared with others on a global scale. Next, through quantitative approaches and under Inglehart’s postmaterialist theoretical framework, the research examines the socioeconomic and sociopolitical heterogeneity among Chinese societies. Overall, the findings confirm that homosexuality is still a form of identity politics in Chinese societies, and political and economic structures profoundly influence the tolerance of homosexuality. Also, Mainland China displays some unusual patterns with respect to the relationship between the economy and the tolerance, which sheds new light on the particularity of Chinese politics.



social tolerance of homosexuality, Chinese society, Postmaterialism, Quantitative methods, Sociology