Family Ties and Civic Virtues: A Comparison between the East and the West
20 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2012
Date Written: November 13, 2012
Civic virtue consists of a set of moral values which can be cultivated through personal living habits to promote successful community. With greater moral sense, people are less likely to be selfish and more social trust can be created which lead to higher level of social capital. Strong family ties are sometimes seen as a menace to the society as it could result in selfish behavior and lack of trust outside the family, impeding economic development. An alternative view is that strong family ties and kinship networks drive successful economies. These values vary across different countries and cultures. Since past researchers have mainly focused on the West, this study provides insightful information on the strength of family ties and civic virtues from the Eastern perspective. Given the vast differences in economic conditions and life chances according to social class and education and income group, it is not controversial to argue that individuals with different level of social class and education exhibit different level of civicness. Using a Hierarchical Linear Model approach, this research examines the: effect of the strength of family ties on civic virtues in East Asia and the West; relationship between the education level and civic virtues; and the prevailing impact of class based system on individual level of civicness. Findings reveal that stronger family ties promote civic virtues and upper class individuals from the East and the West are less civic. While education level is important in fostering civicness in the West, it is not a significant indicator in the East.
Keywords: family ties, family values, civic virtues, moral, education level, social class
JEL Classification: A13, H26, D73, P16, Z13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation