Confucianism and the Family

Edited by Walter H. Slote & George A. De Vos

Subjects: Asian Studies
Series: SUNY series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture
Paperback : 9780791437360, 391 pages, July 1998
Hardcover : 9780791437353, 391 pages, July 1998

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Table of contents


I Introduction

1. Confucius and Confucianism

Wei-Ming Tu

2. Psychocultural Dynamics within the Confucian Family

Walter H. Slote

3. Confucianism in Comparative Context

Francis L. K. Hsu

II. Historical Dimensions

4. The Korean Adoption of Neo-Confucianism: The Social Context

John Duncan

5. The Confucian Incursion into Vietnam

Nguyen Ngoc Huy

6. A Japanese Legacy of Confucian Thought

George A. De Vos

III. Hierarchy and Gender

7. Probing the "Three Bonds" and "Five Relationships" in Confucian Humanism

Wei-Ming Tu

8. The Orthodox Chinese Confucian Social Paradigm versus Vietnamese Individualism

Stephen B. Young

9. Psychocultural Features of Ancestor Worship in Modern Korean Society

Dawnhee Yim

10. Male Dominance and Mother Power: The Two Sides of Confucian Patriarchy in Korea

Haejoang Cho

11. Confucian Gender Role and Personal Fulfillment for Japanese Women

Takie. Sugiyama Lebra

IV. Contemporary Exigencies

12. Confuciansim and the Chinese Family in Singapore: Continuities and Changes

Eddie C. Kuo

13. Confucian Tradition in the Contemporary Korean Family

Kwang Kyu Lee

V. Psychocultural Continuities

14. Filial Piety in Taiwanese Popular Thought

David K. Jordan

15. Mental Illness in Its Confucian Context

Bou- Yong Rhi

16. Destiny and Determination: Psychocultural Reinforcement in Vietnam

Walter H. Slote

17. Confucian Family Socialization: The Religion, Morality, and Aesthetics of Propriety

George A. De Vos


Subject Index

Author Index and Mentioned Terms

An interdisciplinary exploration of the Confucian family in East Asia which includes historical, psychocultural, and gender studies perspectives.


The family is central to societies that have been profoundly influenced by the Confucian, and later Neo-Confucian, mandate. This book examines the nature of family continuities and the internal family social and psychological dynamics in societies that comprise the Confucian core of Asia, namely China (including Taiwan), Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Singapore.

Confucian ideas are discussed from diverse perspectives: religion, philosophy, and history; anthropology and sociology; psychology, psychoanalysis, and psychiatry. Both abiding psychological and social similarities as well as cultural differences are addressed. The volume provides insights on both the positive social cohesiveness found within Asian families and on the possible tensions and even psychopathological responses that may be engendered within a contemporary Confucian family. In addition, the work explores the common Confucian family-cultural background that must be understood to interpret both the scholastic and entrepreneurial success of East Asians wherever they have settled in the Americas and the recent economic push in their homelands.

Walter H. Slote is Senior Research Associate in the East Asian Institute of Columbia University, where he is also Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Anthropology and Sociology. George A. De Vos is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of several books, including most recently, Social Cohesion and Alienation: Minorities in the United States and Japan and coeditor (with Lola Romanucci-Ross) of Ethnic Identity.


"The topic of this book is significant, as a part of both the literature on the family as a social institution, and the growing literature reevaluating the Confucian tradition in industrial (and post-industrial) East Asia. " — John Chaffee, Binghamton University, State University of New York