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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

The Archaeology of the Ethnically Homogeneous Nation-State and Multiculturalism in Korea

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2007, v.47 no.4, pp.8-32
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2007.47.4.8

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Abstract

This paper intends to excavate and examine the long-forgotten natural-ization practices and policies of traditional Korea that existed beforethe advent of a single-raced nationalism, based on the transformationof Dangun from the first king into the biological ancestor of Koreans.The following three points will be made: first, the so-called ethnicnationalism that underlines the purity of Korean blood is not an inte-gral part of Korean tradition. Traditional Korea did not consider itselfto be ethnically homogeneous. In addition, it is erroneous to say thatKoreans lack a historical experience of living together with foreigners. Second, ethnic homogeneity in Korean nationalism is a relativelyrecent phenomenon. Korean nationalism was based on a profoundsense of cultural distinctiveness and superiority. The idea of Koreans asbeing the descendants of Dangun was originally introduced to empha-size the Korean political and cultural life as being old as that of China.Third, those who identify ethnic homogeneity as the main cause forprejudice and discrimination against foreigners are actually engagingthe wrong enemy, because the real cause is this very sense of being civi-lized and culturally superior. This is why multiculturalism is so easilyembraced by nationalists.

keywords
multiculturalism ethnic nationalism homogeneity Dan-gun immigration foreign brideHan Kyung-Koo (Han Gyeong-gu) is Professor at the Division of International Studies Kookmin University. He obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1991. His multiculturalism ethnic nationalism homogeneity Dan-gun immigration foreign brideHan Kyung-Koo (Han Gyeong-gu) is Professor at the Division of International Studies Kookmin University. He obtained his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1991. His

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