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Статья

The Myth of Asian Exceptionalism: Response to Bomhoff and Gu

Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 2012. Vol. 43. No. 7. P. 1039-1054.
In a series of contributions, Welzel describes modernization as human empowerment: a process that emancipates people from external authority. Human empowerment theory (HET) posits two sequential mechanisms. First, cognitive empowerment through rising levels of education and knowledge leads to motivational empowerment, manifest in rising emancipative values. Second, rising emancipative values nurture mass aspirations for liberal democracy, leading to more effective democratic practices. Using World Values Survey (WVS) data from a dozen Asian societies, Bomhoff and Gu claim that Asia is different because these mechanisms do not work among Asian societies. Against these claims, this response shows that Bomhoff and Gu's results are inconclusive. Upon proper examination of WVS evidence, their conclusions turn actually into the opposite: The emancipative logic of HET applies to Asia as much as it applies to the "West."