After the Constitutional Court of Korea ruled in June 2007 that it was “incompatible with the Constitution to limit voting rights to citizens on the condition of residential requirements in Korea,” voting rights were granted to overseas Korean nationals following amendments to related regulations under the Public Official Election Act in 2009. According to the Constitutional Court ruling in 2007, overseas Koreans must be able to exercise their voting rights based on the constitutional principles of democracy and protection of fundamental rights. This study attempts to critically examine the Constitutional Court’s decision of 2007 by focusing on a theoretical understanding of democratic principles and the fundamental rights theory. With regard to the principles of democracy, overseas Koreans may be constitutionally deprived of or denied their voting rights if the range of demos is determined based on the democratic value of the rule of law. In terms of fundamental rights, the limitation of suffrage is generally subject to a strict constitutional review, but a less stringent process may be involved in voting restrictions of overseas Koreans because restrictions are generally reflected in the political values between countries.
In Korea, the type of university that an individual student enters is largely determinedby his or her performance on the national standardized aptitude test implemented bythe Korean government. By investigating the factors that determine individual students’performance on this exam, we seek to identify the factors that determine theiruniversity placement. For this study, we use Korean Education and EmploymentPanel (KEEP) data (2004-2009). We use multivariate regression models to investigatefactors affecting student performance on Korea’s national standardized exam for collegeentrance and describe our extensive findings in this article. Our ultimate conclusionis that educational disadvantage stemming from socioeconomic factors is growing. That is, Korean education is moving in the wrong direction as far as educationalequity is concerned. Based on our observations above, we make several suggestions forparents, guardians, teachers, schools, and educational policymakers to reverse thisdisturbing trend.
Due to the importance of politeness in intercultural communication, the subject ofpoliteness has received a lot of scholarly attention. Despite a vast volume of studieson this subject, few studies have investigated the nexus between politeness and culturalbackground in the context of comparing expressions of politeness made bynative speakers with those made by second language learners. To fill this gap in theliterature, I analyze how cultural differences affect native speakers’ and second languagelearners’ choice of request strategy in the context of politeness. By employing asurvey method, using two subject groups—English native speakers and Korean ESLlearners—I compare politeness behavior in request speech acts between Korean andAmerican subjects. The results of this analysis reveal that cultural differences domatter, and expressing politeness in a second language also affects one’s politenessexpressions.
Ancestral rites have a long tradition in Korea. The norms applied to traditional “Confucian-style” ancestral rites were likely adopted in the eighteenth century when Neo-Confucianism was firmly established as the state ideology of the Joseon dynasty. According to these norms, ancestors up to four generations removed are venerated at the home of the primogeniture descendants on their death days and on holidays. However, since the start of industrialization in the 1960s and the ensuing urbanization, ancestral rites have undergone a variety of changes. In the 1970s and 1980s, changes occurred in the ritual procedures, food offerings, and the time of day that the domestic rites begin. In the 1990s, another major change occurred when the range of ancestors covered by the domestic rites shrank. Most urbanites now venerate ancestors no more than two generations removed at domestic rites, especially on death-day rites, instead of the four generations removed prescribed by the traditional norms. This study presents several patterns in current domestic rites, and provides reasons for such a change, including urban lifestyles, the rise of female employment, changing inheritance patterns, and the waning importance of yangban status.
One of the key characteristics of Buddhism from the late nineteenth century through the first half of the twentieth century was the rise of lay leadership. East Asian Buddhism was no exception, but the ways, degree, and timing in which this modern phenomenon manifested itself varied, especially in the case of Korean Buddhism, which saw a delayed arrival of lay leadership. This article addresses the question of why lay Buddhism struggled to emerge as a strong force in colonial Korea. A key factor that has been underestimated in scholarship is that Korean monks were socially stigmatized during the Joseon period (1392–1910). The rhetoric of stigmatism was so ubi-quitous in journals and newspapers in colonial Korea that it begs a closer analysis of the correlation between the societal perception of monks and its influence on the development of lay Buddhism. This article first examines three interrelated aspects of Korean monastics: (1) the stigmatization imposed on monastics during the Neo-Confucian Joseon dynasty, (2) the persistence of these stigmas in the minds of Koreans, and (3) their internalization among Korean monastics themselves. The article then draws out the impact of these three aspects on the late and limited emergence of lay leadership.
This article examines the development of the Swedish Red Cross Hospital in Busan during 1950–1958, investigating how principal secondary actors affected the hospital’s transition from a military to a civilian hospital. Shortly after the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, Sweden, a neutral nation, offered to send a contingent to establish a mobile field hospital, which was to be under the command of the Eighth U.S. Army. This placed the nominally impartial hospital in a tense situation, forcing it to balance military and humanitarian objectives. In the end, a larger semi-mobile evacuation hospital was set up in Busan, where both UN soldiers and prisoners of war were treated; it came to be known as the Swedish Red Cross Hospital. The decrease in and finally the cessation of hostilities in 1953 made the treatment of Korean civilian patients possible and such work was conducted both at the hospital and off-site in other areas of Busan, though initially this was not formally sanctioned by American and UN authorities. Although still a part of the military system in practice, it became a stationary civilian hospital in 1954. After the main hospital closed in 1957, a pediatrics team remained for another year.
The picturesque theme of Hyewon jeonsincheop 蕙園傳神帖 (Collected Paintings of Hyewon Shin Yun-bok) can best be described as a critical ridicule that makes use of the duplex placement technique. The duplicity of an abstract icon—whereby two opposing codes are conjoined with one abstract icon, i.e., one abstract icon implying two codes—is one of the more effective methods used to portray such a theme. For example, widows, yangban, Buddhist monks, ladies, female servants, and others are the original icons, but through anti-Confucian, antireligious, and amoral acts are construed as secondary abstract icons with lewd conduct, voyeurism, sexual harassment, aberration, and more. With the mechanism of the dual codes of one abstract icon, the criticism falls upon both of the two codes whereby Confucian ideology as doctrine and Confucian ideology as order (as implied by the icons) are lost. Shin did not just superficially express voyeuristic curiosity nor hedonic fantasy. His pictures include a certain critical mechanism, thus, there is much room to infer the spirit of the times in his world of painting.