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East Asian Tradition According To Modernisation Theory

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Chapter Summary

The Cultural Roots of Modern Japan is his 1955 Harvard doctoral thesis, awarded jointly by the East Asian Department and the Sociology Department. Apart from using Weber's theory, Bellah also uses the notions of "pattern variable" and "behavioural dimension" from Parson's sociological theory as part of his interpretative framework. In the particular society of pre-modern Japan, the structure established by the priority of the political value of 'goal attainment' matched the loyalty characteristic of the samurai ethic in the Tokugawa era like a glove fitting a hand. This chapter returns to an even more interesting question, namely the issue of the comparison of Chinese and Japanese cultures. The Cultural Origins of Modern Japan looks at pre-modernisation in the framework of economic function provided by Weber and Parsons, it is hence unable to give a broader analysis of all the factors, both positive and negative, in traditional Japanese culture.

Keywords: Bellah; East Asian tradition; Japanese cultures; modernisation theory; Weber's theory



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