Confucianism On The Bridge?

And like that, we’re full circle back to the Asiana Flight 214 — did Korean culture and/or attitudes (in this case, students’ deference to authority) lead to a preventable tragedy (i.e., “Confucius In The Cockpit”)?  From The Straits Times:

“‘We were asking ourselves: ‘Shouldn’t we move? Shouldn’t we try and get out?’ But the announcement was saying help would be there in 10 minutes,’ Mr Huh told the News Y television channel.

Discipline is strict in the South Korean education system and authority rarely flouted, leaving observers to conclude that most of the 375 high-school students on the ferry, in their late teens, would have probably obeyed any official commands without question.

‘If only we had been told to get out earlier, then more of us would have been able to jump into the sea,’ one student who managed to escape told the MBC TV channel.

‘But most people just stayed put as they were told,’ she added.”

Still so many questions.  And no, Korean students aren’t robots but yes, relative to American students in my experience they’re probably more likely to follow orders rather than question them in a crisis situation.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as the orders are being given by someone competent and fully aware of the situation.

But from the information available so far, it sounds like the students who “broke” the rules against moving are the ones who survived and they were, so sadly, a minority.

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