Balancing Modern and traditional Values in Asian Interactions

balancing traditional and modern values

The region has become the subject of a heated debate over” Asian values” as a result of Asian countries ‘ economic successes, which are frequently achieved using quite different methods than those of the West. The alleged unity of Eastern economic models, social ideals, and cultural practices, as well as the responsibility of cultural factors in East Asia’s emergence as an global power, have been the main topics of discussion in this debate.

An indignant dismissiveness by East Asians has always been a consistent comment to these criticisms. The characterizations of their societies that have emerged in the process are not flattering: they are said to be self- reliant, yet miraculously universalist, centered on individual relationships and mutual obligation rather than cool letter of the law – even though the latter is called upon to enforce those values, respectful of hierarchy and authority, and state interventionist, oftentimes 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 happening at the local level, in public forums, in local government, and in their local 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.