Social organization and values of twentieth-century Korea. Changes in family and kinship, gender relations, rural society, urban life, education, and industrial organization since 1900. Differences between North and South Korea since 1945. Recommended: HSTAS 212/JSIS A 212. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 448.
This course introduces students to modern Korean society, with a focus on South Korea but including some material on North Korea. While emphasis is on the period after the 1950s (post-north-south division), issues from the colonial period (1910-1945) will recur throughout the course, just as they do in postcolonial Korean society and intellectual history. The first half of the course helps students put together the building blocks for understanding the historical conditions of modern Korean society, as well as providing tools for analyzing social phenomena using anthropological and interdisciplinary social science and humanities frameworks. The second half of the course focuses on analysis of Korean social and cultural phenomena, from "the Korean Wave" of pop culture products to internet culture to food culture.
Student learning goals
Gain an understanding of complex social changes in contemporary Korea beyond simplified, stereotypical representations
Gain an understanding of the historical conditions that shape modern Korean social structure and national identity
Explore in depth a topic of interest related to modern Korean society, through either a research paper OR fieldwork/cultural analysis project
Develop critical thinking skills and employ those skills in class discussions and activities
General method of instruction
In general, Tuesday classes begin with a lecture and end with an activity (small group debate, film clip and discussion, etc.). Thursday classes begin with a mini-lecture and the rest of the class is devoted to discussion of the readings.
A course on modern Asian history, area studies or anthropology is useful but not required. An active interest in Korean society and culture is highly recommended!
Class assignments and grading
Final project (research paper OR fieldwork/cultural analysis project)
Attendance 10%, Participation and Preparation 10%, Mini-Exams (2) 40%, Final project 40%