Due to an influx of migrants, the multicultural character of South Korean society is gradually deepening. This transformation in the composition of the nation challenges the myth of Korea’s social homogeneity. In this article, we examine the emergence of groups of ethnic and social minorities through the dual factors of globalization and the democratization of Koreans’ conception of nationalism and nationhood. From the late 1980s, new social minorities have emerged in Korean society through democratization and globalization. Globalization brought about an influx of Joseonjok (ethnic Koreans from China), North Korean refugees, foreign spouses, and migrant workers, while democratization has led to the appearance of hwagyo (ethnic Chinese in Korea), gays and lesbians, persons with disabilities, and honhyeorin (mixed-blood people) as social minority groups. These minorities have become members of the Korean nation-state, establishing themselves as new constituents constructing Korean nationhood. We conclude that the dichotomy of inclusion and exclusion of these minorities in Korean society has transformed into a type of hierarchization. We employ the concept of hierarchical nationhood to describe the legal/policy and social dimensions of this hierarchization.
During the Japanese colonial rule of Korea, the term nambang 南方 (south), whichtraditionally simply referred to the cardinal direction, came in Korean minds to referto Southeast Asia in particular. This change in meaning was associated with thepolitical situation of that period. Nambang came to carry connotations of “undevelopedcountries inhabited by indigenous peoples” and evoked a sense of superiority bythose who used it. This was a manifestation of another form of Orientalism on thepart of Koreans, who were themselves colonized people. Following the way Japanviewed Southeast Asia, the Korean people during the Japanese colonial periodregarded the Southeast Asian region as the origin of life with a focus on its abundantnatural resources. Unlike the brand of Orientalism of the Western romanticist, whichfocused on the harsh and violent barbarity of Asia, the image of the Southeast Asianregions as created by Japanese artists tended toward the idyllic and lyrical. Ironically,the people of Korea held imperialistic illusions about Southeast Asia without a tingeof sympathy, although they displayed an infinite sense of affinity toward India. Thisreveals Koreans’ dual standard of Orientalism mixed with a sense of relative superiorityand unease.
Queen Munjeong (1501-1565) was a substantial power holder who administerednational affairs from “behind the bamboo curtain” during the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910). The purpose of this article is to examine the relationship between her view onBuddhism and statecraft in sixteenth-century Confucian Joseon. To that end, thisstudy examines Queen Munjeong's Buddhist activities in anti-Buddhist Confuciansociety, her understanding of Buddhism, and her statecraft in relation to her Buddhistpolicy. Queen Munjeong did not reject heterodoxy and respected tradition, whichserved as the logic for her favor of Buddhism. She was a substantial power holder whosurpassed royal authority in power and suppressed remonstrators, and her Buddhistactivities had strong elements of private character while seeking miraculous efficacy,which eventually resulted in criticism from her contemporary and immediate latergenerations.
This study analyzes the elements of the alba, a Western literary style, in Korean classical poetry and the tradition of the alba within the history of Korean literature. Alba appear commonly in the literature of various cultures, but the contrast of their expressions in Chinese and Korean literature is particularly revealing. Here, a comparative analysis of Korean and Chinese examples highlights the unique characteristics of Korean classical poetry, with its ample cultural heritage. The archetypal expression of alba in Chinese classical poetry first appeared in folk songs; alba were then incorporated in the literature written by Neo-Confucian literati (sadaebu), and they eventually disappeared from the Chinese tradition. However, analysis demonstrates that the conventions and implementation of alba are more clearly explored in Korean than in Chinese classical literature. Therefore, it will be important in future research to extend this approach to a comparative analysis between Korean and Western classical literature to rediscover the universality and individuality of Korean classical poetry.
This article analyzes the role Yu Gil-jun’s Seoyu gyeonmun (Observations on a Journey to the West) played in the development of gukhanmun, a mixed-script writing style composed of Korean and literary Chinese. The article begins with an examination of Seoyu gyeonmun’s stylistic relationship with Fukuzawa Yukichi’s Seiyo jijo (Conditions in the West). By analyzing the integration of literary Chinese in the two books, this study will present Yu Gil-jun’s unique stylistic achievements and their influence on Korean literary tradition. While Seoyu gyeonmun may have acquired information about the modern West and ideas about constitutionalism and freedom from Seiyo jijo, in terms of syntax the work is more similar to eonhae (Korean translations of Chinese classics). Yu’s rearrangment of the syntactic order of Literary Chinese to fit Korean is likely a legacy of the Korean tradition of the translation of Chinese classics, rather than the influence of Japanese syntax. This exhibits the uniqueness of gukhanmun style in Seoyu gyeonmun, in contrast with the stylistic traits of Seiyo jijo. Moreover, Seoyu gyeonmun displays signs of the author’s active involvement in shaping the text through the editing and rewriting that occurred in the process of translation and adaptation.
In today’s marketplace, the luxury market is a significant business sector accessible toglobal consumers. The increase of luxury brand purchasing has been motivated bysocial and business factors. Luxury fashion brands signal social status and prestige. Asbrand names gradually become a part of public language, brand consciousness playsan important role in consumers’ lives, especially for consumers in East Asian cultures,who perceive social status and prestige as important values. Consumers in a collectivistculture such as that of Korea tend to have a higher public self-consciousness than consumersin an individualist culture such as in the United States. It is important tounderstand Korean consumers’ personal values (e.g., collectivism, public self-consciousness)and their effect on brand consciousness with regard to global luxury brands. Thepurpose of this study is to examine determinants of Korean consumers’ brand consciousnesswith regard to global luxury brands. For this study, 238 undergraduate studentswere recruited from universities in Seoul, South Korea. Results show significantrelationships between personal values (collectivism, public self-consciousness), demographics(age, gender), and brand consciousness, indicating that young Korean consumers’personal values and demographic characteristics operate as determinants ofbrand consciousness of luxury fashion brands. This study may improve our understandingof Korean consumers’ luxury consumption from a cultural perspective.
The taekwondo establishment presents taekwondo as the descendent of ancient Koreanmartial arts. However, during the last two decades, some scholars have begun toquestion this presentation, contending instead that taekwondo is the product ofKoreans who studied karate in Japan during the Japanese colonial years, and thenintroduced karate to Korea after coming home. A comprehensive survey of the existingKorean martial arts literature published between 1945 and 1970 strongly supportsthe argument that early “taekwondo” had in fact been Japanese karate, or morespecifically, Funakoshi Gichin’s Shotokan karate. Therefore, the assertion that earlytaekwondo had its roots in Korean martial arts is difficult to sustain.