Filial Piety In Family Life

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Filial piety is part of traditional Chinese values derived from Confucian ethos, such as, industry and humbleness, under the background of Chinese society (Matthews, 2000). It is the central concept in Confucianism, which represents ideas about how children should treat their parents in material and emotional way, such as providing support to family members, memorializing ancestors, respect and love your parents. These ideas are generalized to apply authority relationships beyond family (Yeh, & Bedford, 2003). Under the concept of filial piety, individuals’ lives are the continuation of their parents’ physical lives. It treats relationship of father and son as up-and-down relationship between head and feet in human body. Head represents the…show more content…
Besides, filial piety is a tool used to differentiate outgroup and in-group members and unify people with commonalities (Lamont & Lareau, 1988).In order to avoid damage to reputation in the community and loss of caring from offspring when they get old, people follow filial piety in daily lives (Ikels, 2004). Growing up in a community being influenced by filial piety, individuals tend to react with others in the social network following the pattern of filial piety, even they have never received formal education of filial piety concept. As a result, pattern of social relationships in the community are characterized by structure of hierarchy and intimacy. Childbearing motivation, as part of life of people, is also affected by these common rules supported by community members (Testa & Grilli, 2006). Practices of childbearing is predetermined by community in which these women are in because they follow these practices since they were born (Steinberg, 1996). For example, there is evidence showing that socially accepted concepts influence people’s perceived “deadline” of age of childbearing differs across countries (Billari et al.,…show more content…
Values such as collectivism, importance of maintain social harmony and conformity also have their impact on Hong Kong people’s way of living (Redding, 1990; Fan, 2000). Under the influence of filial piety, people tend to follow rules and norms in society they are in, in order to reduce conflicts and maintain social harmony. Modern Hong Kong is highly influenced by modernisation, which may influence cultural value hold among citizens. In cities with higher or more advanced modernisation, degree of filial piety among citizens is proven to be lower. However, for citizens with higher education level, there was less association between reduction in affirmations of filial piety and higher modernisation (Cheung, & Kwan, 2009). In Hong Kong, average education level of citizens is high. 30.4% of individuals received post-secondary education (Education Bureau, 2016). It is possible that degree of filial piety among citizens is high even under the influence of modernisation. Filial piety is still uphold and treasured in modern Hong Kong society, but in a modified way, which is different from the traditional way since these socially-agreed values could be modified according to social environment members are in, and evolved based on culture of other societies (Geronimus, 2003). For example, people will still seek for parents’ opinion in making decision (Chow, 2001). Besides, nowadays, Hong Kong people hold

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