Sookmyung Institute for Multicultural Studies

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OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 7 , No. 2

[ Special Issue ]
OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 7, No. 2, pp.1-40
ISSN: 2093-5498 (Print)
Print publication date Jan 2017
Received 07 Dec 2016 Revised 08 Dec 2016 Accepted 13 Jan 2017

Similarities and Differences in East Asian Confucian Culture: A Comparative Analysis
Min-Hua Huang ; Shu-Hsien Chang


In East Asia, Confucianism has long been regarded as the cultural basis for social norms and political order. In the past literature, many scholars have argued that the special nature of Confucian culture is an important factor hindering the modernization of East Asian countries. However, rapid modernization in the past two decades has shown that East Asia is not limited in its modernization by its cultural features. In this paper, the authors explore how the effects of modernization and democratization affect Confucian values in East Asian. Using data from the latest wave of the Asian Barometer Survey data in nine East and Southeast Asian countries, the authors find that modernization and democratization might attenuate Confucianism, but this trend is actually transformative instead of linear, meaning that Confucianism may be transformed into a post-modern culture that offers spiritual well-being and continues to guide the future progress of human civilization.

Keywords: Confucianism, modernization, social structure, cultural evolution, socioeconomic change