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[Vol.25 (2016)] Senior Welfare in Korean Confucian Society
Author : YI Suhn-Gyohng
Date : 19.03.28
Page : 55-73
Keyword : senior welfare, Confucianism, philosophy of welfare, familism, xiaoti (filial piety and fraternal love), xiushen (moral self-cultivation)
Abstract :

This paper explores modern approaches to senior welfare by considering specific characteristics of senior welfare in pre-modern Korean Confucian society, in particular, that societys emphasis on mental wellness. The paper also attempts to propose specific methods and characteristics from that approach which are applicable to public policy on senior welfare in contemporary South Korean society. An ideal society in Confucianism is referred to as datong (great unity) society, a social organization based on familism and communitarianism which takes the cosmology of wanwu yiti ؿڪ (the unity between all things) and xiushen (moral self-cultivation) as its theoretical bases. In a Confucian view of the family, seniors are considered to be guides for children and the cornerstones of family unity. The notion of xiaoti (filial piety and fraternal love) is regarded as the foundation of senior welfare both in societies and in families. In addition, the state institutionalized various means to actualize the practice of xiaoti . The welfare system in traditional Confucian society in Korea was distinctive in that it did not view the senior citizen as a socially and biologically disadvantaged individual. Rather, the notion of human dignity was a key consideration in establishing the system of senior welfare. Today, we need to develop a win-win approach to caring for our seniors which both strengthens the family bond and restores local communities. Doing so will require us to adapt the notions of xiushen and xiaoti to our lives in modern society. In this respect, this paper argues that we should develop specific policies at a state level to support senior welfare based on the principles of xiushen and xiaoti .

Attachments : Senior Welfare in Korean Confucian Society(YI Suhn Gyohng) 55-73.pdf

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