The Traditional Roots of Parental Pressure and Academic Success in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

Chinese state media once called China a "world superpower in stress". According to a 2012 survey, 75% of Chinese workers are stressed, compared with 47% in the United States, 42% in the United Kingdom, and 58% in Germany. Over 70% percent of Chinese white-collar workers suffer from overwork, which poses a serious risk to their health. … Continue reading The Traditional Roots of Parental Pressure and Academic Success in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

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The 228 Incident – The Uprising that Changed Taiwan’s History

228 Incident (The Terrible Inspection), circa 1947, by Li Jun At 11:00 A.M. of February 27, 1947, Taipei City's Monopoly Bureau was informed that a boat carrying fifty boxes of illegal matches and cigarettes had arrived near the port of Danshui, north of Taipei. Matches and cigarettes were part of the system of government monopolies … Continue reading The 228 Incident – The Uprising that Changed Taiwan’s History

“The House of Lim” and the Myth of the Harmonious Chinese Family

In 1959 the renowned American anthropologist and sinologist Arthur P. Wolf went on a study trip to Taiwan with his wife Margery. They spent two years in the house of the Lims, a "joint" family who lived in a small village in the countryside. Living side by side for a long period of time with … Continue reading “The House of Lim” and the Myth of the Harmonious Chinese Family

Democracy, Mob Rule, Dictatorship: The Problem of Freedom in Ancient Athens

After World War II democracy began to be viewed in the West as the best possible form of government. However, a history of democratic states shows that freedom is not something to be taken for granted. Democracy is not simply "freedom for all" or "the will of the people". It is a complex, delicate machine, … Continue reading Democracy, Mob Rule, Dictatorship: The Problem of Freedom in Ancient Athens

‘Pretty, Innocent Asian Girls’: The Cult of Cuteness in East Asian Societies

Different countries have different aesthetic standards: the shape of houses, streets and squares, the way people talk and dress, the landscape, orderliness, chaos etc. - these are all elements that make up each place's unique atmosphere.    Aesthetic traits such as fashion and manners belong to the visible characteristics that distinguish peoples in different parts … Continue reading ‘Pretty, Innocent Asian Girls’: The Cult of Cuteness in East Asian Societies

Memorial Arches, State, and Family Virtues in Imperial China

In imperial China the family was the nucleus of social order and state ideology. Unlike its Western counterpart, the Chinese family was not simply a social unit; it was an institution that over the centuries gave rise to an ideology that permeated the lives of every individual and shaped the structure of the state.    … Continue reading Memorial Arches, State, and Family Virtues in Imperial China

Propriety and Ritualism in Chinese Society

To many Westerners China seems a mysterious and unfathomable country, and the behaviour and mindset of her people almost impenetrable. One thing that appears to have been puzzling Western observers for decades is the question of moral values and interpersonal relationships in Chinese society.   Among East Asian nations, China is the one that conceals … Continue reading Propriety and Ritualism in Chinese Society

Taiwan – Kaohsiung Prison Drama

On February 11 Taiwan's society was shocked by the events that unfolded in Kaohsiung prison, where 6 inmates rebelled and took staff members hostage. This was the first prison riot in Taiwan's history. This drama highlighted not only Taiwan's need to reform its prison management system, but also the existence of a grey zone between legality … Continue reading Taiwan – Kaohsiung Prison Drama