Bystander attitudes toward parents? The perceived meaning of filial piety among Koreans in Australia, New Zealand and Korea

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Aim:The objective of this paper was to explore how present-day filial piety is understood among Koreans in geographically different settings.Methods:Data were collected from qualitative interviews with 61 Korean participants in Australia, New Zealand and Korea and then thematically analysed and evaluated.Results:The findings from this study show that filial piety for Koreans consists of family care and support, along with respect for parents. The norm of filial piety is regarded as an important aspect of intergenerational family relationships in current Korean culture, while its practice is perceived as increasingly eroded within a context of major socio-cultural and economic changes, including migration.Conclusion:The results show that the tension between the social and economic aspects of filial piety often creates a ‘bystander’ attitude toward parents and provides fertile ground for the seeds of family conflict.

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