David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Moral Education 20 (2):139-155 (1991)
Abstract This study examined the cross?cultural universality of Kohlberg's theory of moral reasoning development in the People's Republic of China??a culture quite different from the one out of which the theory arose. In particular, the applicability of the theory was evaluated in terms of its comprehensiveness and the validity of the moral stage model. Participants were 52 adolescents and adults, drawn from five groups: moral leaders, intellectuals, workers, college and junior high school students. In individual interviews they responded to hypothetical moral dilemmas and discussed a real?life dilemma from their own experience. These interviews were scored for both moral stage and moral orientation. The findings indicated a high level of intra?individual consistency in level of moral reasoning. A wide range of moral stages was evidenced and predictable group differences in moral development were found. An analysis of moral orientations provided an additional perspective on individuals? moral reasoning, in particular, in revealing group differences. Although, in general, the universal applicability of Kohlberg's approach was supported by these data, a subjective analysis of responses revealed some indigenous concepts, fundamental to Communist Chinese morality, that are not well tapped by the approach
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