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The culture of capitalist development in East Asia

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Chapter Summary

The debate between the culturalists and institutionalists over the explanation of the dynamics of capitalist development in East Asia seems to have subsided, notably after the so-called IMF crisis when the financial pinch hit some parts of the region rather suddenly and severely. This chapter examines some meaningful cultural explanations for the phenomena. However, since culture is such a broad and vague concept, the chapter employs a relatively restricted conception of culture, focusing on what is called the “content of mind” of individuals who are more or less directly involved in the economic growth effort. The chapter briefly summaries the meaning and dynamics of modernization. It explores the special features of East Asian capitalist development that employs the theoretical framework of modernization. Modernization was always a combination of acculturation imposed by Western modernizers and adaptive changes undertaken by each society exposed to its influences.

Keywords: East Asian capitalist development; economic growth; Western modernizers



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