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Morality (East and West): Cultural Concerns



‘Eastern’ moral systems entail the ethics of community or the ethics of divinity, which emphasizes the importance of fulfilling one's duties or attaining to group goals. In contrast, ‘Western’ morality highlights an individual's right of choice with utilitarian consideration, rather than any enforced social demand of deontological concern. Negative duties are universal moral codes in most human societies, while positive duties are specific to non-Western societies, which are experiencing transformation in order to preserve their core values under the impact of Western individualism.
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From Hwang, K-K., 2015. Morality 'East' and 'West': Cultural Concerns. In: James D.
Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral
Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 15. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 806–810.
ISBN: 9780080970868
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.
Author's personal copy
Morality ‘East’ and ‘West’: Cultural Concerns
Kwang-Kuo Hwang, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Ó2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Easternmoral systems entail the ethics of community or the ethics of divinity, which emphasizes the importance of fullling
ones duties or attaining to group goals. In contrast, Westernmorality highlights an individuals right of choice with util-
itarian consideration, rather than any enforced social demand of deontological concern. Negative duties are universal moral
codes in most human societies, while positive duties are specic to non-Western societies, which are experiencing trans-
formation in order to preserve their core values under the impact of Western individualism.
Comparison of Three Methodologies
Three main approaches in the social and behavioral sciences
inform the comparative study of moral reasoning and behavior
prominent in Westernsocieties following the JudeoChristian
tradition and Easternsocieties following Confucianism,
Islam, and Hinduism: developmental psychology, anthropo-
logical ethnography, and cultural psychology. These three
approaches result in different understandings of morality in
the Westand the East.This article rst offers a comparison of
the methodologies of these three approaches and then pro-
vides a detailed examination of research on Western and
Eastern moral systems.
Developmental Psychology
Kohlbergs (1981) theory of moral development and research
methods were widely adopted by child psychologists in the
1970s and 1980s to study the cognitive development of moral
reasoning and moral judgment in children of varying ages in
different cultures. Based on the assumption of cross-cultural
universality in moral development, Kohlberg claimed that
All individuals in all cultures use the same basic moral cate-
gories, concepts, and principles, and all individuals in all
cultures go through the same order on sequence of gross stage
development, though they vary in rate and terminal point of
development(Kohlberg, 1971: p. 175). His theory consists
of six universal stages of cognitive development in moral
Kohlbergs theory adopts the perspective of evolutionism,
which is based on a normative model and classies a great
diversity of moral discourse from a multitude of cultures into
several categories arranged in a formal sequence. According to
his theory, the development of moral reasoning follows
a universal invariant sequence toward the goal of thinking with
universal ethical principles.
A series of empirical studies have been conducted using
Kohlbergs standardized moral dilemmas and scoring manuals
(Marchand-Jodoin and Samson, 1982;Parikh, 1980). After
careful examination of the literature, Snarey (1985) found that
because stage skipping and stage regressions were rare, prog-
ress from Stage 1 to Stage 3 or 4 was virtually universal, but
that the presence of Stage 4/5 or 5 was extremely rare in all
populations. Nearly all samples from Western middle-class
groups and 91% of Eastern urban populations exhibited
some Stage 6 principled reasoning. No tribal or folk cultural
groups of the non-Western world showed any postconven-
tional thinking. Postconventional thinking upholds indi-
vidual rights or universal ethical principles.
Many of the moral reasoning data collected in collectivist or
communalistic societies of the non-Western world either could
not be scored according to the standardized manual or could
not be explained in the context of Kohlbergs theory (e.g.,
Maqsud, 1979;Sullivan, 1977;White et al., 1978). Such
anomalistic facts have been used to challenge Kohlbergs
theory. Critics charge that though Kohlbergs preconventional
and conventional stages are well based on empirical operative
judgments, his descriptions of higher stage reasoning at post-
conventional stages are primarily based upon Kant, Rawls, and
other Western philosophers (Snarey, 1985). This perspective
entails Western ideologies of rationalism, individualism, and
liberalism, and therefore assigns the values of male, Caucasian,
American intellectuals as the end point of moral maturation
(Buck-Morss, 1975;Edwards, 1985). The theorys ethical
objectivism ignores the moral discourse prevailing in many
non-Western societies, and fails to recognize their substantial
ethical philosophies (Weinreich-Haste and Locke, 1983).
Imposing Kohlbergs theory as well as his scoring system on
the moral reasoning of non-Western peoples may result in
systematic bias originating from Western ethnocentrism.
Gibbs (1979) tried to revise Kohlbergs theory in terms of
Piagets phylogenetic perspective. According to Piaget, human
intelligence is a holistic phenomenon encompassing social,
moral, and logico-physical aspects. Its development follows
a standard sequence that is predetermined by epigenetic factors
like those of other species. Along with completion of physical
maturation and the singular achievement of intellectual
development over the course of the adolescent years, there is
a progressive ability for people at the highest stage of standard
development to reect on the very conditions of their existence
in the world. Reection on ones own existence may motivate
one to dene a moral theory to justify ones basic moral prin-
ciples from a particular standpoint that is either inside or
outside the society (e.g., Stacey, 2011).
As many studies have shown, different cultures show wide
variety in their philosophies of morality. These normative
philosophies may provide material for second-order thinking
or metaethical reection when individuals try to dene their
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own moral theories. It is impossible for individuals to elimi-
nate cultural inuences from the contents of their own moral
reasoning. Considering this fact, a better way to conduct cross-
cultural research on morality would be to use ethnographic
analysis to describe the patterns of moral conduct and moral
thinking that consistently emerge in the daily social life of
people in a particular culture.
Anthropological Ethnography
Researchers who study the ethnography of morality usually
adopt the viewpoint of interpretive anthropology, which
assumes that culture is an organized collection of symbols with
the major function of maintaining social order for normal
operation (Erickson and Donald, 1997;Gubrium and
Holstein, 1997). As derivatives of the cosmology of a given
culture, the concepts of morality and personhood, as well as
other symbolic systems, can best be understood in the holistic
context of that culture.
Many anthropologists have used the ethnographic ap-
proach to study indigenous religions, cosmology, personhood,
and concepts of morality in non-Western societies (e.g., Edel
and Edel, 1959;Howell, 1997). They tend to adopt the
insiderspoint of view to interpret the moral ideas, moral
discourse, and moral practices in a particular society. Instead of
relying solely on philosophical analysis and anthropological
records, they pay special attention to the dynamic interplay
between abstract moral principles and particular social events
in a given community.
Researchers following this approach have often adopted the
viewpoint of relativism for depicting the uniqueness of each
culture. Paradoxically, members of a cultural community tend
to insist on the viewpoint of absolutism: They may believe that
their moral standard is superior to that of other cultural groups,
and use it as a criterion for dening what is meant by person or
for differentiating their own group from outsiders (Hcelas and
Lock, 1981;Carrithers et al., 1985;Rapport, 1997). Those who
violate their moral standards might be condemned as not
a person. The process of dehumanization may lead to severe
interpersonal or even intergroup conict in extreme cases (e.g.,
Melhuus, 1997).
Cultural Psychology
Cultural psychologists investigate the cultural foundation of
psychological diversity in self-organization, cognitive process,
emotional function, and moral reasoning among people living
in different cultures. In order to understand native peoples
symbolic and behavioral inheritance in terms of their shared
framework of interpretation, cultural psychologists also adopt
an ethnographic approach, but with the perspective of plu-
ralism. Pluralism assumes that people all over the world are
similar in their psychological structure and function, although
aspects of their knowledge, thinking, feeling, values, needs, and
behavior are activated by the experience of living in a particular
cultural community. Cultural psychologists advocate the
slogan: One mind, many mentalities; universalism without
uniformity(Shweder et al., 1998: p. 871). They work to
develop universal theoretical frameworks for interpreting the
thinking and behavior of people in different cultures. Although
it would be impossible to depict all moral systems in the world,
it is possible to describe the sharp contrasts between moral
systems of the East and West with the conceptual schemes
provided by cultural psychologists.
Cultural psychologists suggest that three main domains of
moral discourse exist in human society: the ethics of auto-
nomy, the ethics of community, and the ethics of divinity
(Shweder et al., 1997). Because the moral experiences of
human beings are so complicated and the recognition of reality
so restricted, even though all moral systems contain elements
of all three of these domains, any particular moral system will
tend to emphasize a particular domain of moral discourse.
Morality of the West
The contemporary Western moral system is characterized by
the ethics of autonomy, which can be traced to the Judeo
Christian religious tradition. Christianity assumes that the
world was created by God, who also created humankind in
accordance with His own image. Since all humans were created
in Gods image, all humans are equal. Every person has the
essence of humanity and should obey the divine command-
ments declared by God.
This concept of person and its underlying discourse of
divinity changed drastically after the Renaissance in Europe.
The Cartesian philosophy of dualism detached individuals
from the outer world where they nd themselves. Rationalism
emphasized an individuals free will and subjective reasoning.
The expansion of modern capitalism also made signicant
contributions to the rise of individualism (Turner, 1988).
The Western concept of self-formed, in the cultural milieu of
individualism, requires a dualistic view of the world. It draws
sharp distinctions between mind and matter, cognition and
affection, self and society, nature and culture, and so on. Self is
conceptualized as a dynamic center of awareness, emotion,
judgment and action organized into a distinctive whole and set
contrastively both against other such wholes and against its
social and natural background(Geertz, 1974: p. 225). The
inner life of the self, with its spontaneity, privacy, uniqueness,
genuine feeling, and constancy, has a clear-cut boundary that
separates it from the outer social world constituted by mask,
role, rule, or context.
In the Western view of personhood, the individual is
conceived of as prior to and more fundamental than society,
which is treated as an articial construction designed mainly to
satisfy human needs. When a social order can no longer serve
the function of realizing this end, it should be redesigned and
reconstructed to restore its function. Based on this premise,
Western morality is characterized by an emphasis on the rights
of individuals. According to Dworkin (1977), all moral codes
encompass personal rights, personal duties, and social goals,
but they may differ in the priority given to these three cate-
gories. Western morality is premised on the concept of natural
rights, rather than on natural duties or social goals.
Because individuals are construed as quasi-sacred and abso-
lute, their legitimate demands should be carefully respected.
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The individual is an ultimate and indivisible monad, and every
human group is made up of monads with the same human
nature. Individualsfree will and right to liberty are natural,
fundamental, and inescapable. By the same token, the duty to
respect othersrights is equally natural and inescapable. Ones
rights are restrained by the identical rights of other individuals,
and everybody is encouraged to strive for the rights of all human
beings to the greatest overall liberty (Dumont, 1986).
The realization of negative duties of omission (e.g., not
killing, not cheating, not stealing, etc.) is considered to be the
prerequisite of a moral agent. Violating moral codes of this
category might be condemned as evil. In contrast, the practice
of the positive duties of commission is subject to an individ-
uals right of choice. Individuals who decide to undertake an
altruistic act may be admired for their virtue. As a consequence,
a certain state of tension is frequently aroused between social
demand and the individuals desire for freedom of choice. The
autonomous view of self tends to entail the belief that per-
forming social obligations in spite of individual rights may
have the negative effect of restricting ones own personal
liberties. Even if one can justify working for the benetof
another person, the act of undertaking this responsibility is
a resolution of personal choice with either utilitarian or con-
tractrian consideration, rather than an enforced social demand
of deontological concern.
As indicated by Gilligan (1982), in contrast to the
Kohlbergian ethics of justice for males, the moral reasoning of
Western females can be characterized by the ethics of caring
and responsibility. However, both the deontological view of
morality held by Kohlberg and the morality-of-caring frame-
work developed by Gilligan are bound to the Western culture
of individualism. Both stress freedom of choice and individual
responsibility. Commitments to interpersonal caring are
viewed as matters of personal decision (Miller, 1994), rather
than as obligations to a particular social target in Eastern
societies (Mohmood, 2005).
Morality in the East
In sharp contrast to the individual-centered morality of the
West, contents of moral systems in the Eastern world, no matter
whether they originated from Confucianism, Hindusim, Islam,
or Buddhism, can be described as duty based. Unlike typical
Western dualism, most Eastern philosophies advocate
a monistic view of origin. That is, ones life is construed as an
inseparable part of the world in which one nds oneself, not as
an independent entity standing in opposition to the outer
world. For example, traditional Chinese philosophy conceives
of the formation of all things in the universe as the result of
dynamics between the two opposing forces of ying and yang.A
persons life is also produced from the unication of ying
(female) and yang (male). In Confucianism, a family is
conceived of as the body of a human being; each role in the
family represents a distinct part of the body. For instance, the
relationship between parent and child is like that between esh
and bone, while brothers are considered to be the four limbs
(Hwang, 1999).
The Hindu view of life is also premised on the functional
interrelatedness of the universe. From the earliest times of
Rigveda (about 1500 BC), the Hindus believed that Rta
(dynamic equilibrium) is the governing dynamic principle
underlying functional equilibrium of the cosmic order. The
famous Purusha sukta of Rigveda assumes the functional relat-
edness of all living organisms. Any existing phenomena many
attain a state of Rta when each of its parts remains in its proper
place and functions in its own law of activity. Humans,
animals, and plants are interrelated. They all are part of the
cosmic immanent life force. The individual functioning of one
in coordination with the individual functions of others results
in collaborative equilibrium of the whole universe (Heimann,
1964). In the same vein, Hindus conceptualize their society as
a huge cosmic organism in which certain functions are allotted
to each of the four major parts: the head, arms, trunk, and feet.
Each of these four represents one of the four castes of Hindu
society. Remaining in the proper function fullls the goal of
smooth collaboration of the whole society.
Instead of drawing the boundary of an individual around
the immediate surface of ones physical body, most Oriental
philosophies conceive of this boundary as expandable to
include ones family or the whole society. Followers of Oriental
philosophy tend to believe that external forces predetermine
the social order. Role relationships within ones primary group
are especially unchangeable through ones own efforts. There-
fore, Oriental moral systems endow mandatory features not
only to negative duties of omission, but also to some positive
duties of commission. Examples include lial piety (uncondi-
tional positive duty) and loyalty (conditional positive duty) in
Chinese society (Hwang, 1999, 2012), repaying on (favors or
kindness) in Japanese society, and utang na loob (debt inside
oneself or a debt of gratitude) in Filipino society. These kinds of
positive duties or categorical imperatives urge individuals to
fulll obligations to specic targets in the community. These
obligations ensure the smooth functioning of society, rather
than protect the rights of individuals. In Dworkins (1977)
conceptual framework, Eastern moralities are based on duties
or group goals rather than rights (Ahmed, 1993;Ali, 2006).
Compared with Western ethics of autonomy, ideas about
individual rights are relatively uncommon in traditional
Eastern moralities. Even moral discourse arguing for negative
duties in Eastern moral systems are proposed not on the
premise of protecting individual rights, but in consideration of
maintaining social order or for religious reasons. For example,
the act of killing others violates the principle of benevolence
(ren). Ren, the requirement that all people carry out their moral
duty to signicant others in their intimate society, is the most
fundamental moral rule for maintaining psychosocial
homeostasis in Chinese society. Buddhists must adhere to ve
requirements: do not kill, steal, lie, be lustful, or taste intoxi-
cants or meat. Violation of any of these requirements may
result in Karma bringing automatic retribution in a later life.
According to Islam, the present life is short and temporary,
while the future life is eternal and everlasting. Those who
devote themselves to charity, especially those who sacrice
themselves for the almighty Allah, may ascend to Heaven.
Those who indulge in evil doings will descend to Hell. This
kind of moral discourse ts within the model of Eastern moral
systems that entail the ethics of community or the ethics of
divinity, rather than the ethics of autonomy.
Moral discourse supporting the ethics of community or
divinity in the Oriental world as revealed by sages or prophets
808 Morality ‘East’ and ‘West’: Cultural Concerns
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are recorded in classics such as The Analects of Confucianism, or
religious scriptures such as the Quran of the Muslim faith, or
the Upanishads of Hinduism. Intellectuals who are able to
interpret those classics or scriptures, like Confucian scholars in
traditional China, Brahmans in Hindu society, priests in
Islamic countries, and monks in Buddhist societies, have
occupied high positions in traditional and even contemporary
societies. Their position is similar to that of priests in the
Christian world before the European religious Reformation
In contrast, the modern Western view of morality advocates
a position of secularism, which assumes that all moral agents
morally equivalent. Anyone can discover the natural law of
morality without the assistance of revelations by a prophet
or sage.
Global Ethics and Cultural Change
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and East European
communist regimes at the end of the 1980s, most countries
have been incorporated into the world economic system of
capitalism. The rapid expansion of opportunity for intercultural
contact and exchange between people from the East and West
has facilitated the formation of such concepts as multicultur-
alism and global ethics in the age of globalization. As part of the
Universal Ethics Project sponsored by UNESCO, a group of
international scholars of philosophy have proposed a Universal
Declaration of Human Responsibilities, consisting of a list of
global ethics with four categorical imperatives proposed on the
basis of a fundamental demand that every human being must
be treated humanely (Kung and Kuschel, 1993):
You shall not kill!
You shall not steal!
You shall not lie!
You shall not commit sexual immorality!
An examination of the list reveals that it consists of negative
duties found in most cultures, while positive duties specicto
a particular Eastern culture are undergoing drastic cultural
changes under the impact of Western individualism, commer-
cialism, and materialism. For example, as an unconditioned
positive duty in Confucian culture, lial piety has been the core
value of familism in East Asian societies. Empirical study on the
basis of a dual model distinguishing between reciprocal and
authoritarian lial piety indicated that diverse evolutional
paths of contemporary lial piety do appear in such Chinese
societies as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China, with a general
tendency of diminishing importance in authoritarian lial
piety, while reciprocal lial piety remains its persistence (Yeh
et al., 2013). In accompany with such cultural changes, the
traditional pattern of arranged marriage has evolved several
transitional patterns of mate selection in East Asian countries,
but autonomous marriage has become the shared trend with
cohort variation in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan (Tsutsui, 2013).
By the same token, intergenerational relations in those areas
share similar features in both of its change and continuity
patterns: while coresidence between generations remains
patriarchal, the main ow of integer support is from adult
children to parents. Sons tend to perform various lial duties
much more than daughters, but the actual practice of lial
responsibility tends to be shared among adult siblings
according to their various resources instead of by the birth
order of sons (Lin and Yi, 2013).
See also: Buddhism; Cultural Relativism, Anthropology of;
Ethnography; Individualism versus Collectivism: Philosophical
Aspects; Law and Morality: An Analytical Perspective;
Monasticism: West and East; Morality: Evolution of; Neural
Foundation of Morality; Pluralism and Tolerance; Relativism:
Philosophical Aspects; Religion: Morality and Social Control;
Religions of East Asia; Religions of India; Value Pluralism.
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... The different cultures in the Western and Chinese contexts, in turn, constitute differences in morality. Although "all moral codes encompass personal rights, personal duties, and social goals" [26,27], the priorities given to these three dimensions are different between the two contexts. In Western areas, higher priority is given to personal rights than to duties and social goals [26]. ...
... Although "all moral codes encompass personal rights, personal duties, and social goals" [26,27], the priorities given to these three dimensions are different between the two contexts. In Western areas, higher priority is given to personal rights than to duties and social goals [26]. Every individual has innated fundamental and equal autonomy and human rights [26]. ...
... In Western areas, higher priority is given to personal rights than to duties and social goals [26]. Every individual has innated fundamental and equal autonomy and human rights [26]. Therefore, individuals are encouraged to fight for the rights of all people to the highest level of freedom [28]. ...
Full-text available
Project Bridge, as a new, contextualized positive education program, is designed to enhance university students' character strengths and moral development, resulting in the promotion of their psychological wellbeing. Taking into account the differences between Western and Chinese cultures, the project integrated both Western and Asian concepts and values in the delivery of university education that would likely bring about optimal outcomes. In the evaluation, mixed methods were applied to demonstrate the outcomes of this newly developed positive education program. Pre- and post-test, as well as reflective writing, were adopted to measure the outcomes. Both quantitative and qualitative results demonstrated satisfying outcomes. Implications and future developments are discussed in the conclusion.
... Based on this theoretical model, Chap. 5 explains how I analyzed the inner structure of Confucian thoughts (K. K. Hwang 1988Hwang , 1995Hwang , 2001 . According to my analysis, the Confucian ethical system of benevolencerighteousness-propriety for ordinary people emphasizes two fundamental principles for social interaction -namely, the principle of respecting the superior and the principle of favoring the intimate. ...
... According to K. K. Hwang's analysis, the Confucian ethics for ordinary people are constructed on the core value of benevolence (K. K. Hwang 2001 ) . The Confucian idea of "fi lial duty" stresses the importance of "benevolent father/fi lial son." ...
... own achievement and moral performance may make college students feel that they have more face than their parents, which refl ects an individual orientation. In contrast, retirees have face more from their children's moral performance and academic achievements than their own, which refl ects a social (Yang 1981 ) or relational orientation (Ho 1991 ;K. K. Hwang 2001 ) . Since the university students are entering the work environment, they value the social faces acquired upon personal talent, capacities, or efforts; the retired older people have left the ...
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This article explains the various aspects and characteristics of the concept of face and morality in Confucian society. The vocabularies for describing Chinese usage of face can be divided into two broad categories, namely moral face and social face. Both are related to Confucian concepts of morality. It analyzes the relevant features of Confucian morality and discusses it from three different ethical perspectives. The article uses the thus obtained conceptual framework to explain the commonality in findings from two separate empirical studies on episodes of losing face conducted in Taiwan and mainland China. In Confucian society, not only do protective face and acquisitive face constitute significant orientations of personality, but such indigenous concepts as zuo mianzi (making face) and zheng mianzi (keeping up face) may also have important psychological implications.
... Consequently, the fulfillment of role obligations in interdependent social relationships, the creation and maintenance of interpersonal harmony, the striving to promote the welfare and prosperity of the collective (e.g. the family), even at the apparent cost to one's personal welfare, are the core issues. Such a view of SWB is consonant with an obligation-based, Confucian moral discourse, in contrast to the Euro-American, rights-based discourse (Hwang, 2001). ...
... This chain of events was confirmed in the longitudinal study. For the relation-oriented, interdependent Chinese (Hwang, 2001;Kitayama & Markus, 2000), failing in social relationships is likely to have a more devastating effect on subjective well-being compared to Westerners. We need to better consider the role of beliefs about the world upon additional mediators of life satisfaction in different cultural settings. ...
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Although the definition of happiness varies from person to person, people do not just want to feel happy for a short while, they want to feel positive about living a good life, and accomplishing things they believe are valuable and worthwhile. Over the centuries, philosophers and ordinary people have pondered what kind of life is worth living. This article explains the different aspects of Chinese well-being and the contexts of it turning to be a study subject. Great breakthroughs have been achieved in the last few decades as science has begun to unravel the prevailing myth of happiness as a mysterious, ephemeral state of mind, revealing it as an ordinary, albeit positive, state of mind that can be studied and understood. This article adopts the customary terminologies used by most current scholars and researchers and use happiness interchangeably with subjective well-being.
... Therefore, developing good character in oneself is the foundation of evolving spirituality. (Hwang, 2015) Lack of Values in Western culture: ...
In Islam, spirituality means worshipping God, seeking the satisfaction of God, awareness of the origin of the universe, humility, submission, and trust, which man demonstrates in all of his actions. In this way, an individual's oath to Allah is the focal point of Islamic spirituality. When discussing the role of spirituality in touching the unending episode of happiness in this world and the next world, the nature of spirituality continues to develop beyond one’s imagination. The word "spiritual" comes from the Latin word "spiritus," indicating breath, an essential element of human life. Without breathing, there is no life; therefore, every aspect of living, in essence, is related to the realm of the spiritual. Spirituality is also essential in human life experiences through the physical and mental senses, which are difficult to express in ordinary language. They have something to do with deep knowledge, dealing with living and non-living things and the metaphysical. Searching for a true sense of spirituality could show a path to self-identity that can answer who we are, where we come from, and our destination. This paper discusses the significance of the development of spirituality, starting from an individual to the family and society. It provides methods of developing spirituality, the nature of the development of spiritual values, training the children with the inculcation of religious teachings, and a comparison of spiritual values in Islamic and western practices. This research applies the descriptive-analytical method. It attempts to illustrate the significance of applying spirituality in the family and society at large as a catalyst towards the prosperity of this world and the next.
... If one refers to Schweder's three ethics, regarding the ethics of Autonomy, the ideas relative to individual rights are comparatively less widespread in the morals of Eastern societies. Among the latter, moral discourses uphold the duties, not intending to protect individual's rights, but by upholding the social order or for religious reasons (Hwang, 2015). For example, according to Islam, life on Earth is short and temporary, whereas life after death is eternal and perpetual. ...
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Many theories have shaped the concept of morality and its development by anchoring it in the realm of the social systems and values of each culture. This review discusses the current formulation of moral theories that attempt to explain cultural factors affecting moral judgment and reasoning. It aims to survey key criticisms that emerged in the past decades. In both cases, we highlight examples of cultural differences in morality, to show that there are cultural patterns of moral cognition in Westerners’ individualistic culture and Easterners’ collectivist culture. It suggests a paradigmatic change in this field by proposing pluralist “moralities” thought to be universal and rooted in the human evolutionary past. Notwithstanding, cultures vary substantially in their promotion and transmission of a multitude of moral reasonings and judgments. Depending on history, religious beliefs, social ecology, and institutional regulations (e.g., kinship structure and economic markets), each society develops a moral system emphasizing several moral orientations. This variability raises questions for normative theories of morality from a cross-cultural perspective. Consequently, we shed light on future descriptive work on morality to identify the cultural characteristics likely to impact the expression or development of reasoning, justification, argumentation, and moral judgment in Westerners’ individualistic culture and Easterners’ collectivist culture.
... However, in countries where the sense of social values, the sense of social harmony and the contribution to society is the forerunner of the collectivist culture, it appears that the collective aspect of wellness, such as harmony, conformity, socialization, and the future, is emphasized (Zeng and Guo 2012). In such cultures, particular importance is given to the accomplishment of role responsibilities in social relations, to the establishment and preservation of interpersonal harmony, to improve the wellness of the family at the expense of the wellness of the individual (Hwang 2001). It can be said that the collectivist culture based on the cultural values that have high social and family ties is dominant in Turkey (Ayçiçegi-Dinn and Caldwell-Harris 2011; Hoftede et al. 2010). ...
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Conceptualizing wellness requires a systematic assessment with reliable, valid and accurate measurements. The purpose of the study is to develop both a valid and reliable scale to evaluate the wellness of emerging adults. This research is composed of three separate studies. In the first study, item pool was generated and content validity was evaluated. In the second study (n = 343), factor structure with exploratory factor analysis (EFA), convergent validity and internal reliability of the Wellness Scale for Emerging Adults (WSEA) were investigated. In the third study (n = 357), the factor structure of WSEA was determined by EFA and it was tested by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in a different sample. EFA results showed that WSEA had a single-factor structure and CFA results indicated that single-factor structure model showed acceptable fit. In addition, the internal consistency reliability coefficient of WSEA was calculated in the third study. Cronbach’s alpha was calculated as .81 and .82, respectively in the second and third studies. The findings demonstrate that WSEA is a reliable and valid instrument.
... This shielding effect of self-exertion to parents reflects the unique perspective of role obligation in Confucian culture (Hwang, 1999(Hwang, , 2012. In the Western tradition, which tends to hold an autonomous view of the self, individuals are socialized not to violate others' rights nor to view others' expectations as one's own responsibility, which may have a negative effect of restricting one's autonomy (Bedford and Hwang, 2003;Hwang, 2015). On the matter of academic learning, individuals have the right to choose whether they want to expend effort to pursue academic goals, and their parents' will should not influence their choices. ...
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Previous studies have found that in East Asian Confucian societies, hardworking students are often trapped in a dilemma of enjoying a positive moral image while suffering from emotional distress due to academic failure. This study intends to further explore whether the cultural-specific belief in self-exertion acts as a psychological mechanism to lessen these students’ negative emotions. A group of 288 college students in Taiwan were administered a questionnaire to record their responses to past academic failures. The results from structural equation modeling showed that self-exertion functioned as a mediator between the effects of effort on learning virtues and emotional distress. Self-exertion to fulfill one’s duty to oneself positively mediated the effect of effort on learning virtues, whereas self-exertion to fulfill one’s duty to one’s parents negatively mediated the effect of effort on emotional distress. Theoretical and cultural implications are further discussed.
... Also, guilt can be understood as involving inner standards which are influenced by moral systems in specific cultures (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). Unlike individualistic cultures-where obligations are to a greater extent left to personal choice-in collective cultures, such as China, duties and obligations are emphasized, mandatory, and if not fulfilled, lead to guilt (Bedford & Hwang, 2003;Hwang, 2001;Markus & Kitayama, 1991). For example, the concept of "Xiao" (Filial Piety) is a traditional moral code which indicates the obligations of adult children to their parents (Yang, Yeh, & Huang, 1989). ...
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The rationale, development, and validation of the Bereavement Guilt Scale (BGS) are described in this article. The BGS was based on a theoretically developed, multidimensional conceptualization of guilt. Part 1 describes the generation of the item pool, derived from in-depth interviews, and review of the scientific literature. Part 2 details statistical analyses for further item selection (Sample 1, N = 273). Part 3 covers the psychometric properties of the emergent-BGS (Sample 2, N = 600, and Sample 3, N = 479). Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that a five-factor model fit the data best. Correlations of BGS scores with depression, anxiety, self-esteem, self-forgiveness, and mode of death were consistent with theoretical predictions, supporting the construct validity of the measure. The internal consistency and test–retest reliability were also supported. Thus, initial testing or examination suggests that the BGS is a valid tool to assess multiple components of bereavement guilt. Further psychometric testing across cultures is recommended.
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Focusing on social dimensions of consumer behavior across cultures, this book brings together diverse academic fields from management and social sciences and case studies from the marketing practice. It offers a comprehensive synthesis of relevant topics in a concise, easy to comprehend manner. The book focuses on the rapidly developing issues surrounding the impact of cultural conditioning on consumer behavior, customer need identification and purchasing decision-making. Specifically, it sheds light on the important cultural factors influencing two marketing pillars inclusive of product (with the main focus on the brand) and promotion (with the main focus on advertising, message development and personal selling). With the rise of emerging markets, the applicability of traditional Western models in management and marketing research has been questioned (Birkinshaw, Brannen, & Tung, 2011). In particular, much evidence suggests that the popular dimensional perspective on culture should be supplemented with new approaches (Gannon, 2011). This book provides a critical overview of the established traditional frameworks for analyzing culture, while also expanding the boundary of investigation to include the new concepts and methods for cultural analysis. By doing so, it answers calls for integration of novel theories and concepts to capture management puzzles or phenomena of the “East” (Barkema, Chen, George, Luo, & Tsui, 2015). Audience This book is geared towards postgraduate or master students as its primary audience. However, it could also be used for specialized undergraduate or bachelor courses. It offers a comprehensive framework for understanding the intricacies of cultural influence on consumption, as well as practical guidance for the design and implementation of effective intercultural marketing strategies with main focus on branding and promotion. As such, it also offers insights to practitioners looking to obtain additional frameworks that could help with marketing efforts across cultures. Structure Five different types of questions are used throughout the book, each with a different purpose. Each chapter starts with a warm-up question introducing the theme. Every section of the chapter also ends up with a question related to the relevant theoretical content, helping the students to grasp it through inquiry. These section-ending questions also serve as in-class discussion topics that help to structure the class into instructional and brainstorming sections. Each case-in-point also includes a question which helps the students to understand applications of theoretical concepts in marketing practice. Each mini-case also contains questions that allow the students to critically assess the case example. Finally, the guiding questions at the end of each chapter focus on the group project, bridging between theory and practice. Each set of questions addresses a different element of the project, helping the students to apply the course concepts in their promotional campaign more specifically. The book includes relevant theoretical concepts from different disciplines as well as numerous examples from the practice. These examples are provided through out the text to illustrate the main course concepts. Some are short, while others, such as the case-in-point examples are longer and offer various case studies that show how the theoretical concepts are applied in practice. The main semester-long project consists of a cross-cultural campaign for launching a home market brand in another distinctly different host country or a region of choice. The deliverable of the project is two-fold. Each self-formed team should prepare a written report, as well as a group presentation illustrating key ideas and findings from the report. Each team should submit a one-page informal description of the project by a specified date mid-semester to ensure that the students are developing their plan in the right direction. Each chapter ends with a list of practical guiding questions to aid decision-making in the process of project preparation.
Saba Mahmood's 2005 Politics of Piety is an excellent example of evaluation in action. Mahmood's book is a study of women's participation in the Islamic revival across the Middle East. Mahmood - a feminist social anthropologist with left-wing, secular political values - wanted to understand why women should become such active participants in a movement that seemingly promoted their subjugation. As Mahmood observed, women's active participation in the conservative Islamic revival presented (and presents) a difficult question for Western feminists: how to balance cultural sensitivity and promotion of religious freedom and pluralism with the feminist project of women's liberation? Mahmood's response was to conduct a detailed evaluation of the arguments made by both sides, examining, in particular, the reasoning of female Muslims themselves. In a key moment of evaluation, Mahmood suggests that Western feminist notions of agency are inadequate to arguments about female Muslim piety. Where Western feminists often restrict definitions of women's agency to acts that undermine the normal, male-dominated order of things, Mahmood suggests, instead, that agency can encompass female acts that uphold apparently patriarchal values. Ultimately the Western feminist framework is, in her evaluation, inadequate and insufficient for discussing women's groups in the Islamic revival.
A leading expert on the family, Judith Stacey is known for her provocative research on mainstream issues. Finding herself impatient with increasingly calcified positions taken in the interminable wars over same-sex marriage, divorce, fatherlessness, marital fidelity, and the like, she struck out to profile unfamiliar cultures of contemporary love, marriage, and family values from around the world. Built on bracing original research that spans gay men's intimacies and parenting in this country to plural and non-marital forms of family in South Africa and China, Unhitched decouples the taken for granted relationships between love, marriage, and parenthood. Countering the one-size-fits-all vision of family values, Stacey offers readers a lively, in-person introduction to these less familiar varieties of intimacy and family and to the social, political, and economic conditions that buttress and batter them. Through compelling stories of real families navigating inescapable personal and political trade-offs between desire and domesticity, the book undermines popular convictions about family, gender, and sexuality held on the left, right, and center. Taking on prejudices of both conservatives and feminists, Unhitched poses a powerful empirical challenge to the belief that the nuclear family--whether straight or gay--is the single, best way to meet our needs for intimacy and care. Stacey calls on citizens and policy-makers to make their peace with the fact that family diversity is here to stay.
And a River Went Out of Eden Getting Started Getting There - Together The Baggage We Bring The Trips We Take The Places We Go Packing It In Writing It Up and Getting It Out the Door To Team, or Not to Team?