Journal Article

Cane of Love: Parental Attitudes towards Corporal Punishment in Korea

Sonam Yang

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 39, issue 8, pages 1540-1555
Published in print December 2009 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online March 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Cane of Love: Parental Attitudes towards Corporal Punishment in Korea

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This study explores parental beliefs, values and behaviour in relation to parenting practices, in particular, attitudes to corporal punishment. Qualitative methodologies were used; semi-structured in-depth interviews with 34 participants. The findings suggest that although the Korean family has undergone many changes, the traditional cultural value that it is the parents' right to discipline their children is still supported. Furthermore, most discipline is exercised through physical chastisement. However, there was a sense of ambivalence about the appropriateness of using physical chastisement. This suggests there is a lack of a framework which sees children's healthy development as needing to be fostered. This study concludes that there is a need for a meaningful national consensus as to the best ways of translating legislation into reality. What children need to develop healthily, raising awareness of how children are harmed, and the legitimacy of corporal punishment should be addressed through national debate. The main aim has to be to promote the safety and welfare of children.

Keywords: Corporal punishment; children's rights; parenting; child abuse

Journal Article.  6463 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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