Read 1_contemporary_korean_society-OCW-syllabus.pdf text version


Instructor: Email: Professor Kim Eungi [email protected]

I. COURSE DESCRIPTION This course is designed to introduce students to the main aspects of contemporary Korean society, including those pertaining to the family, industrialization, gender, aging, labor, population, religion, and political system. The course will specifically focus on topics and issues that figure prominently in the lives of the Korean people, such as patriarchy, modernization, education frenzy, urbanization, authoritarianism, collectivism, and anti-Americanism. Each of these issues will be examined through sociological, historical, comparative, and balanced perspectives. The assigned readings that specifically deal with Korea will be supplemented by a reading from an introductory sociology textbook to enhance the students' understanding of the workings of society and to help broaden their perspective to appreciate the social institutions of other countries. Because this is not a lecture course, your participation is extremely important and is a vital part of the course. II. COURSE OBJECTIVES The principal objective of this course is to prepare students with the knowledge and analytical tools needed to develop balanced views on Korean society. Toward this end, students are expected to:

understand the key dimensions and principal trends of Korean society; comprehend how class, race-ethnicity, gender, and age relate to social institutions such as the family, education, economy, religion, and politics; think globally, question commonly held beliefs, assess different perspectives used by sociologists, and to use this process to understand the forces that generate change and continuity in Korean society; understand how significant changes in society affect the experiences of diverse groups in Korea; identify the significant social institutions involved in domestic governance and assess their contribution; and understand various social problems facing Korean society, including inequality, sexism, and aging population.


III. RECOMMENDED READINGS John D. Carl. 2010. Think Sociology. London: Prentice Hall. Alford, C. Fred. 1999. Think No Evil: Korean Values in the Age of Globalization. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Breen, Michael. 1998. The Koreans: Who They Are, What They Want, Where Their Future Lies. New York: St. Martin's. Amsden, Alice. 1989. Asia's Next Giant: South Korea and Late Industrialization. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Kendall, Laurel. 2002. Under Construction: The Gendering of Modernity, Class, and Consumption in the Republic of Korea. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Lie, John. 1998. Han Unbound: The Political Economy of South Korea. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Armstrong, Charles. 2002. Korean Society: Civil Society, Democracy and the State. New York: Routledge. Oh, John Kie-Chiang. 1999. Korean Politics: The Quest for Democratization and Economic Development. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

IV. CLASS SCHEDULE AND READING ASSIGNMENT Week 1 Introduction Week 2 Korea: A Brief History Week 3 Understanding Korean Culture: Symbols, Language and Norms Required Readings: Carl, John D. Chapter 3 (Culture). Kendall, Diana. Culture. Week 4 Understanding Korean Culture: Shamanism Required Readings: Moon, Sang-hi. Shamanism in Korea. Moon, Sang-hi. Shamanism and the Mental Structure of Koreans. Understanding Korean Culture: Confucianism Required Readings: Koh, Byung-ik. Confucianism in Contemporary Korea. Kim, Kwang-ok. 1996. The Reproduction of Confucian Culture in Contemporary Korea.

Week 5


Week 6

Korean Family Required Readings: Carl, John D. Chapter 14 (Marriage and Family). Kweon, Sug-In. The Extended family in contemporary Korea--Korea Journal 38(3). Gender Inequality in Korea Required Readings: Carl, John D. Chapter 11 (Gender Stratification). Cho, Uhn. Gender Inequality and Patriarchal Order Reexamined. Religion in Korea Required Readings: Carl, John D, pp. 270-276. Kim, Andrew. 2002. Characteristics of Religious Life in South Korea: A Sociological Survey. Baker, Don. Modernization and Monotheism: How Urbanization and Westernization have transformed the religious landscape of Korea. The Christianization of Korea Required Readings: Kim, Andrew. Protestantism in Korea and Japan from the 1880s to the 1940s: A Comparative Study of Differential Cultural Reception and Social Impact. Lee, Won-Gue. A Sociological Study on the Factors of Church Growth and Decline in Korea. Education in Korea: Achievements & Challenges Required Readings: Kim, Young-hwa. 2000. Concurrent Development of Education Policy and Industrialization Strategies in Korea (1945-95): A Historical Perspective. Urbanization in Korea Required Readings: Kye-Choon Ahn. Population Changes and Urbanization.. Kwon, Tai-hwan. The trends and patterns of urbanward migration in Korea, 1960-1985.

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11


Week 12

Economic Development of Korea Required Readings: Carl, John D. Chapter 16 (Economy and Politics). Eckert, Carter et al. Economic development in historical perspective, 1945-1990. Anti-Americanism in Korea: The Changing Attitude of Koreans Toward the U.S. Required Readings: Gweon, Yong-Lib. The Changing Perception of America in South Korea. Lee, Sook-jong. Anti-Americanism in Korean Society: A Survey-based Analysis Aging Required Readings: Carl, John D. Chapter 12 (Aging and Health). Eun, Gisoo. Population Aging and Social Strategies for Aging Problems in Korea. Multiculturalism as a Social Fact in Korea Required Readings: Carl, John D. Chapter 10 (Race and Ethnic Stratification). Kim, Eungi. Global Migration and South Korea.

Week 13

Week 14

Week 15



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