Confucianism, Commerce, Capitalism

Subject HIST30069 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2015.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture per week for 12 weeks and eleven 1-hour tutorials scheduled across the semester
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 8.5 hours per week including class time: total time commitment 102 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Prof Antonia Finnane

Subject Overview:

This subject explores the nexus between culture and economy in East Asia, with a focus on China and comparative treatment of Japan and Korea. Confucianism has been advanced as an explanation both for the achievements of and for shortcomings in economic organization and development in East Asia. The subject is designed to equip students with the knowledge and critical skills to analyse and evaluate interpretations of economic activity as a function of Confucian culture. Major areas of study include the historical deployment of Confucian precepts in commercial life, and the influence of Confucian institutions on economic organization. Markets, merchants, shopping and banking, textile production and international trade are among the historical phenomena to be explored.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject should be able to

  • reflect critically on the relationship between culture and economy
  • demonstrate familiarity with significant developments in East Asian societies and economies
  • describe the major trajectories of East Asian economic and cultural change, considered in conjunction, over the last five hundred years.
  • analyse and evaluate popular and academic accounts of Confucianism in relationship to changes in economies and societies in East Asia.
  • demonstrate an ability to analyse primary and secondary materials, textual and visual, in reflecting on cultural and economic change

A review essay, 500 words 10% (due week 2), an essay, 2000 words 45% (due in week 10), a take-home exam, 1500 words 35% (end of semester) and tutorial participation throughout the semester, 10%.

Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after five days, no late assessment will be accepted. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Subject readings will be available online

David Faure, China and Capitalism: A History of Business Enterprise in Modern China (Hong Kong: HKUP, 2006)

Recommended Texts:

Wonsuk Chang and Leah Kalmonson eds. Confucianism in Context (Albany: SUNY press 2010) available as an e-book

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: History

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