balancing traditional and contemporary principles

The region is at the heart of a contentious discussion about” Asian values” as a result of Asian countries special info‘ economic successes, which are frequently achieved using quite different methods than those of the West. The alleged uniformity of Eastern economic models, social ideals, and social practices, as well as the function of historical factors in East Asia’s emergence as an worldwide power, have been the main topics of discussion in this debate.

One invariable comment to these accusations has been East Asians ‘ indignant dismissiveness. The characterizations of their societies that have emerged in the process are never flattering: they are said to be self- reliant, but miraculously collectivist, centered on individual relationships and shared obligation rather than cold letter of the law – even though the latter is called upon to enforce those values, respectful of hierarchy and authority, and state interventionist, often into the private space of individuals.

This defensiveness is a natural reaction to the fact that the societies involved are experiencing an unprecedented level of change as a result of globalizing forces. The heart of this discussion is, however, the way in which these societies are attempting to create norms of governance and social organization that will be viewed as legitimate by their citizens.

This is being done at the local level, in public forums, in local government, and in their respective social and religious institutions. In my informal poll of respondents in 1994 and 1996, I think it’s because the majority of Asians place an emphasis on maintaining an organized society, even at the expense of some individual freedoms.

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