Yliopistologo M.A. Ka Linin sosiaalipolitiikan ja sosiaalityön alaan kuuluva väitöskirja

Confucian Welfare Cluster: A Cultural Interpretation of Social Welfare

tarkastetaan lauantaina 6. helmikuuta 1999 klo 12 Tampereen yliopiston päärakennuksen luentosalissa D 11, osoitteessa Kalevantie 4.

Vastaväittäjänä on professori Paul Wilding (University of Manchester).Kustoksena toimii professori Jorma Sipilä.


Ka Lin on syntynyt Quzhoussa Kiinassa 20.3.1961. Hän on suorittanut M.A. -tutkinnon Beijing Normal Universityssa 1989. Lin on toiminut lehtorina Hangzhoun yliopiston filosofian ja sosiologian laitoksella 1989-1994.

Linin väitöskirja ilmestyy sarjassa Acta Universitatis Tamperensis, Vammalan Kirjapaino Oy, Vammala 1998. ISBN 951-44-4484-1 ISSN 1455-1616

Väitöskirjan tilausosoite: Tampereen yliopiston julkaisujen myynti, PL 617, 33101 Tampere, puh. (03) 215 6055, e-mail: taju@uta.fi.

Lisätietoja: Ka Lin, puh. (03) 253 5819.


Lin Ka raises the question of the significance of culture into the agenda of studies on social policy development. His book "Confucian Welfare Cluster: A Cultural Interpretation of Social Welfare" is important in two ways. First, it shows that popular Western social policy theories are purely Western -- they could not explain the welfare development in the East. Second, it shows how strongly cultural differences influence the formulation of social policies. Three interrelated targets are set up in this study: to extend welfare regime theory by defining a new cluster of welfare, to identify the characteristics of the "Confucian welfare cluster", and to methodologically explore a cultural interpretation of social welfare.

Lin Ka discusses the problems related to the 'East Asian welfare regime', or in Esping-Andersen's term, the 'fourth regime' besides three classic welfare regime models. After investigating the welfare systems in Japan, China, Singapore and Hong Kong, Lin Ka denies the potentiality of gathering them into a united 'regime' or a single 'model'. However, he addresses these systems as a cluster, characterised by the traits of workfare orientation, strong family reliance, groupist reference, the authoritarian line of social policy-making, etc. The study interprets this cluster by both Confucian welfare traditions and the peculiar conditions of industrialism, class struggle, and state actions in Confucian Asia. It holds that the living 'Confucian social order' is a key factor to explain the nature of this cluster.

More importantly, this study illustrates how the cultural context affects welfare systems. People in dissimilar cultures have their own sense of legitimacy for a welfare system. Therefore cultural contexts, reflected in social norms and social order, demonstrate their power to modify modern social welfare systems. As observed, the notions of individual autonomy and gender equality in Scandinavia favours a universalistic welfare state, whereas Confucian familistic groupism promotes a network of welfare reliance. Accordingly, Lin Ka stresses a normative perspective of welfare study. The discussion further extends to 'welfare society'. Lin Ka maintains that, since various types of welfare states have dissimilar normative bases, there is no convergent model of development, neither universalistic nor liberalist, nor a recently advocated 'welfare society' model.

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