Browse Student Communities and Culture by Series/Report "In this course we explore important issues in the study of Contemporary Korean Society and ask how those themes can help us to better understand processes of globalization in East Asia and beyond. Although the Koreas are relatively small countries in Asia, as Michael Robinson writes, “They have played a disproportionately important role in the last hundred years of world history” (2007:1). Their history of colonialism, the Korean War, coming of age in the Cold War, and struggling to rise to the top of the global stage makes them a productive region of the world for thinking about themes such as globalization, nationalism, belonging and modernity. In the first half of the course we look at Korea’s global roots and see how North and South Korea have diverged in their struggle to modernize. In the second half of the course we focus on South Korea’s efforts to define its national identity, and in doing so, have caused many exceptional cases to emerge. We look at issues such as the Korean diaspora, immigration, plastic surgery, and how even as the desire for an English-language education forces South Koreans to travel abroad, the ‘Korean Wave’ of film, TV and music is hitting the shores of most countries in Asia (and worldwide) and has made Korea an enviable producer of global cultural products. We pair ethnographies, historical texts and anthropological articles focused on Korea with key texts in the anthropology of globalization. Additionally we use both documentary and feature film to analyze class themes"

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