Neo-Confucian Ethics Thesis Reconsidered: Explaining Capitalist Dynamism in Asia

Thursday, 2 July 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
CLM.B.06 (Clement House)
Hyun-Chin Lim, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea
Suk-man Hwang, Changwon National University, Changwon, South Korea
Kyusook Um, Kyunghee Cyber University, Seoul, South Korea
The most notable characteristic of the neo-Confucian discourse has been its attempt to cast off the traditional perspective of equating modernization with Westernization. Confucianism has been understood on a number of levels -- as having fulfilled a similar function of the Protestant Ethics in Western development, as having brought changes in both organizations and values with the systematized cultural mechanism, and as having supported social order, hiearchy, and harmony in the formation of communitarian society. In the context of the discussion on East Asia, we examine the conversations on 'Confucian capitalism' that are under way in the international and domestic academic circles. We will investigate the positive and negative implication of East Asia's capitalist development as an apt example to illustrate peripherial self-identity of Korean social sciences. In the midst of competition among paradigms, Confucianism once again came to be viewed as the main variable in achieving the remarkable economic growth of East Asia as the significance of culture was rediscovered.