KOR 151: Education and Social Changes in Contemporary Korea
This course provides an introduction to Korean Studies and focuses on two main themes, education and social changes. During the first part of the semester, we are going to discuss social changes in modern/contemporary Korea through examination of issues such as regionalism, class, gender, family, ethnic nationalism, and the culture of consumption. Then, we will move onto exploring how these social issues have reconfigured education in South Korea. The Korean education system is known for its rigorous and competitive nature and it is often suggested as one of the major contributors to the speedy economic growth of the country in recent years. However, the system has also produced unintended byproducts that have become serious social issues such as bullying, suicide, and extremely high educational expenditures. We will pay special attention to those byproducts of Korean educational zeal. This course is designed to help students to advance their understanding of contemporary issues in South Korea through critical analysis of course materials. Class discussions and projects are integral parts of the course requirements, and interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to the issues will be emphasized. SS, BN.