Impact of “Family Reverence” (Filial Piety) on Lives in Twentieth and Twenty-First China

  • Mertin Oscwer Sun Yat-sen University
  • Hin Qi Zhou Sun Yat-sen University
Keywords: Family Reverence, Filial Piety, Confucian, Modern Society, Family
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Since time immemorial, the family has been a central social institution arguably as a social unit where an individual’s character, mannerism, and personality is first shaped. People are born and bred in families where the parents, siblings and other family members are the first people an individual interacts and forges relationships with. Every person is an invaluable link to an infinite chain of mankind that binds all people in a family or society.  Every individual has a moral duty to family members aimed at creating cohesion and ambient co-existence in the family, community, and the society at large. In the Hebrew Bible, a child is obligated to honor and respect their father and mother and promised to live for if they do so. Due to the liberal myths that dominate the modern western cultures a great disparity is recorded between the relationship of children and parents of older generations to the millennial generation. The older generations are argued to be more respectful and caring for their parents as opposed to the current generations; the disparity is attributed to the erosion by Western cultures especially in conservative East Asian societies such as China. The family dynamics of traditional Chinese society with reference to a Confucian family which was multigenerational and extended family defined by moral obligations. Xiaojing 孝經, a Confucian classic translated as “Classic of Family Reverence” and common to English audience as “Classic of Filial Piety” is a basic and central family value and ethics in the traditional Chinese culture and continues to shape the contemporary Chinese family values and culture. Therefore, this paper seeks to understand and elucidate how “family reverence” affects lives in twentieth and twenty-first China.  


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4 March, 2019
How to Cite
Oscwer, M., & Zhou, H. (2019). Impact of “Family Reverence” (Filial Piety) on Lives in Twentieth and Twenty-First China. International Journal of Advanced Research, 1(1), 22-35. Retrieved from