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"Cultural additivity" and how the values and norms of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism co-exist, interact, and influence Vietnamese society: A Bayesian analysis of long-standing folktales, using R and Stan

Author

Listed:
  • Quan-Hoang Vuong
  • Manh Tung Ho
  • Viet-Phuong La
  • Van Nhue Dam
  • Bui Quang Khiem
  • Nghiem Phu Kien Cuong
  • Thu-Trang Vuong
  • Hong Kong Nguyen
  • Ha Viet Nguyen
  • Hiep-Hung Pham
  • Nancy K. Napier

Abstract

Every year, the Vietnamese people reportedly burned about 50,000 tons of joss papers, which took the form of not only bank notes, but iPhones, cars, clothes, even housekeepers, in hope of pleasing the dead. The practice was mistakenly attributed to traditional Buddhist teachings but originated in fact from China, which most Vietnamese were not aware of. In other aspects of life, there were many similar examples of Vietnamese so ready and comfortable with adding new norms, values, and beliefs, even contradictory ones, to their culture. This phenomenon, dubbed "cultural additivity", prompted us to study the co-existence, interaction, and influences among core values and norms of the Three Teachings –Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism–as shown through Vietnamese folktales. By applying Bayesian logistic regression, we evaluated the possibility of whether the key message of a story was dominated by a religion (dependent variables), as affected by the appearance of values and anti-values pertaining to the Three Teachings in the story (independent variables). Our main findings included the existence of the cultural additivity of Confucian and Taoist values. More specifically, empirical results showed that the interaction or addition of the values of Taoism and Confucianism in folktales together helped predict whether the key message of a story was about Confucianism, β{VT ⋅ VC} = 0.86. Meanwhile, there was no such statistical tendency for Buddhism. The results lead to a number of important implications. First, this showed the dominance of Confucianism because the fact that Confucian and Taoist values appeared together in a story led to the story’s key message dominated by Confucianism. Thus, it presented the evidence of Confucian dominance and against liberal interpretations of the concept of the Common Roots of Three Religions ("tam giáo đồng nguyên") as religious unification or unicity. Second, the concept of "cultural additivity" could help explain many interesting socio-cultural phenomena, namely the absence of religious intolerance and extremism in the Vietnamese society, outrageous cases of sophistry in education, the low productivity in creative endeavors like science and technology, the misleading branding strategy in business. We are aware that our results are only preliminary and more studies, both theoretical and empirical, must be carried out to give a full account of the explanatory reach of "cultural additivity".

Suggested Citation

  • Quan-Hoang Vuong & Manh Tung Ho & Viet-Phuong La & Van Nhue Dam & Bui Quang Khiem & Nghiem Phu Kien Cuong & Thu-Trang Vuong & Hong Kong Nguyen & Ha Viet Nguyen & Hiep-Hung Pham & Nancy K. Napier, 2018. ""Cultural additivity" and how the values and norms of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism co-exist, interact, and influence Vietnamese society: A Bayesian analysis of long-standing folktales,," Working Papers CEB 18-015, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/268611
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Quan-Hoang Vuong & Tran Tri Dung, 2009. "The Cultural Dimensions of the Vietnamese Private Entrepreneurship," Working Papers CEB 09-027.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Quan-Hoang Vuong & Nancy K. Napier, 2013. "Acculturation and Global Mindsponge," Working Papers CEB 13-053, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Tuan V. Nguyen & Ly T. Pham, 2011. "Scientific output and its relationship to knowledge economy: an analysis of ASEAN countries," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 89(1), pages 107-117, October.
    4. Thu-Trang Vuong & Quan-Hoang Vuong, 2018. "L’Indochine française du XXIe-XXe siècle – politique et religions," Working Papers CEB 18-002, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Tung Manh Ho & Hong Kong T. Nguyen & Thu-Trang Vuong & Quan-Hoang Vuong, 2017. "On the Sustainability of Co-Authoring Behaviors in Vietnamese Social Sciences: A Preliminary Analysis of Network Data," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(11), pages 1-21, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Quan-Hoang Vuong & Quang-Khiem Bui & Viet-Phuong La & Thu-Trang Vuong & Viet-Ha T. Nguyen & Manh-Toan Ho & Hong-Kong T. Nguyen & Manh-Tung Ho, 2018. "Cultural additivity: behavioural insights from the interaction of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism in folktales," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 4(1), pages 1-15, December.
    2. Viet-Ha T. Nguyen & Hong Kong Nguyen-To & Thu Trang Vuong & Manh Tung Ho & Quan-Hoang Vuong, 2018. "How swelling debts give rise to a new type of politics in Vietnam," Working Papers CEB 18-026, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Nguyen, Hong-Kong T. & Vuong, Quan-Hoang & Ho, Tung Manh & Vuong, Thu-Trang, 2018. "The “same bed, different dreams” of Vietnam and China: how (mis)trust could make or break it," OSF Preprints khtn5, Center for Open Science.
    4. Quan-Hoang Vuong, 2018. "The Internet and the grassroots foundation of civil society in Indochina," Working Papers CEB 18-027, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Confucianism; Buddhism; Taoism; Three Religions; cultural additivity; Vietnamese culture; folktales; social norms; values; beliefs; ideals;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility

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