Traditional and modern Family
The family is the base of all societies, that is why I chose this subject because it help us to understand the Korean modern society and even sometimes the history. Confucianism in “its traditional format was rigidly authoritarian and bolstered by a social matrix that was essentially totalitarian”. (Walter H.Slote) The hierarchy is very rigid,and set by the age, the gender, the social status.
Confucianism society is based on a patriarchal lineage and authority. The first son is loved and given of the best things, because he will continue the lineage. In this context children and woman had little voice and were restrict by strong rules of obedience and respect. The family is the source of education, and knowledge for children, theylearn through the everyday rituals in a proper way. “Confucianism is a family oriented religion, philosophy, and social ideology governing behavior from birth to death.”( Kwang Kyu lee) If the rites weren’t accomplished in the proper way, the falters were punished by the law. This system creates solidarity within the family and lineage. Lineage is the individual descendent from a common progenitor.The most important lineage is the one which is perpetrate by the first born son.
Education and well manners are one of the most important points, even in the farmer families, children were taught to use the highest honorific terminology to speak with their father. “To never stand higher than his father, to enter a room after his father, and never smoke or drink in front of him.” This rules wereset by the filial piety, this virtue is “held above all else: a respect for the parents and ancestors”. Filial piety of the son were shown trough given everything good to their parents and taking care about their body in good health and clean because that was a gift from the parents. Filial piety is the second of the Five Relationships, defined by Mencius. Traditionally that defines affectionbetween father and son. The purpose of the filial piety was to create close relationships and solidarity within the family but it demand sacrifice of oneself. For a man it was loyalty to lord and state, for a woman it was to be a good mother and wife. Filial piety has been the normative foundation of Korean family life.
Family was typified by a strict division of labor and roles that was dividing intwo categories man and woman. Father and mother have completely different functions that complete each other. The father was the body of education through authority and discipline. He had three key rights and obligation: representing the family in society, supervising family members and controlling family property.
Mother role was to give love and regulate the consumption and the allocation ofresources within the family and the household. The grandparents, especially the grand father has very good relations with his grand children because he doesn’t have to carry with the heavy role that fathers have in Confucianism societies anymore.
The mother relationship was very special for the children, because she was given all her life for them. Indeed the father has very cold relation withthe mother; she gave all her love and attention to his children; particularly to the oldest son. “A second son has little responsibility and less power, so his sins are correspondingly less destructive to the family”, thus he dare less attention. The future stability of the lineage and the family relies on the first son. Girls will leave home when they get married so they are not crucial for thewell being of the lineage. Again this was dictated by the Confucianism hierarchy, the first son dears much more love and attention that girls or younger brothers.
That situation creates emotional dependency of mothers and sons. That is why the mothers were very possessive and dominant and sons were obedient because of the emotional power they feel. According to the authors due to the difficult...
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