Modern women education in the age of enlightenment were represented by foundation of women's school, the equality between men and women and emphasis of women's social participation. On the other hand, women education in Chosun Dynasty when confucianis ...
Modern women education in the age of enlightenment were represented by foundation of women's school, the equality between men and women and emphasis of women's social participation. On the other hand, women education in Chosun Dynasty when confucianism was dominant ideology were characterized by absence of women education, the idea that men are superior to women (男尊女卑) and courtesy of avoidance of the opposite sex (內外法). It has been known as modern women education is a sharp contrast to confucian women education.
However, if we examine the object and contents of modern women education, we can find that two roles, as a tutor of her children and a home manager, were emphasized. It was in a similar vein that a wise mother and good wife (賢母良妻) were regarded highly in Confucian image of women. Also the fact that home was the most representative field of women's social participation is not so different from Confucianism which treated women as restricted to women´s living room. In addition it is very suggestive that textbooks for girl students were inherited thoughts from So-hak (小學, Elementary Learning) or Confuician teachings for women (女訓書). In considering the object and contents of modern women education, we can recognize that modern women education was not in contrast to Confucianism but was related with it.
If so, where was the relativity of modern women education to Confucianism derived from It stemmed from paying attention to role of women as leading power of social change or reform and function of home as the place of social reform. It is closely related with reproduction of a patriarchal system. Although absence of women education in Chosun Dynasty was criticized, the importance of women education were highly emphasized since the founding of Chosun Dynasty until the age of enlightenment.
Especially in the process of converting Buddhism as a main ruling ideology into Confucianism, women education for Confucianization was conducted nationally. Only there was no institutional women education beyond women´s living room.
In Confucianism there is the theory of home administration (內治論) "the destinies of one's family depend on whether women are good or bad". That is to say, succession of the family, wife's assistance, children's education, family unity, home administration and so on, the rise and fall of the family depend on woman who has another family name. This principle apply to the royal family. Therefore women education are essential for the prosperity of home and nation.
Meanwhile for the civilization, enlightenment and modernization of Chosun Dynasty in the age of enlightenment, the role of women as a mother and a wife was focused on and the necessity of modern women education was emphasized. Even though women were not restricted to her home but were treated as a member of her nation, women's participation was reduced to in a way of tutoring children and assisting of husband. In conclusion the theory of modern women education can be estimated to modern transformation of the theory of home administration (內治論).
The structure of the discourse on modern women education and Confucian women education were the same in the context of social application of women. Besides the idea that men are superior to women (男尊女卑) which was based on the theory of Yin-Yang (陰陽論) was reinterpreted as horizontal relationship and was made use of the theory of equality of sexes. Thus the reason modern women education was related with Confucian discourse of women is that the order of patriarchal system is needed. The progress from pre-modern society to modern society made a change from the patriarchal society which was based on jongbeop (宗法, regulations of lines of descent) to the patriarchal society which was based on capitalism. To maintain patriarchal system, modern society needs the role of women.