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Gender issues in Confucian ethics in contemporary Vietnam

Journal: RUDN Journal of Sociology (Vol.23, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 100-111

Keywords : gender roles; gender stereotypes; gender sociology; Axial Age; Confucian ethics; contemporary Vietnamese society; division of labor; domestic violence; social status of women;

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Confucianism like Taoism is a part of the treasury of the world spiritual culture as created by the “axial age” (K. Jaspers); however, time affects even the most humanistic teachings, many of the provisions of which can be formalized, become obsolete, requiring both a “return to the origins” and clarification or reinterpretation and renewal. These processes of both positive and negative nature affected the norms of Confucian ethics in Vietnam. The article aims at examining the gender content of the Vietnamese Confucian ideals and their impact on the contemporary Vietnamese society. Confucian ethics was introduced in Vietnam during the Chinese colonization and had a great influence on both feudalism in general and on the social perception of the woman and her position in the family, determining gender roles and corresponding gender stereotypes for a millennium. The article identifies both general and special features of the gender issues in the Chinese and Vietnamese traditional Confucian ethics. In addition to many negative aspects (such as restraining women’s personal development and limiting their participation in feudal ceremonies), the Vietnamese Confucian ethics regarding women was changed for the better, contributing to the humanization of gender relations. Confucian gender principles continue to have both beneficial and detrimental influence on the Vietnamese society today. The study of the distribution and dynamics of changes in gender roles in the traditional and contemporary Vietnamese society can provide empirical data for gender sociology, as it is hard to analyze gender relations without considering national traditions and culture in general.

Last modified: 2023-03-17 07:33:20