The goal of this course is to enhance our understanding of Korean society and culture by employing sociological and historical perspectives. Korea today consists of many elements of the past. These elements, while often less visible, still exert influence on everyday lives of Koreans. What might roughly be called 'tradition' has interacted with 'modern' forces of development in making complex 21st century Korea.
The lecture will be centered around the question of how development has affected Korean society, culture, and people. During the first half of semester, we will examine Korean social change historically; this includes rethinking traditional culture, examining the role of Japanese Colonialism, and evaluating the US role in making Korean society. We also discuss issues of macro social changes such as urbanization and rural decline. The second half of semester consists of studying specific social issues such as population, family, women, food, and religion to widen our knowledge of Korean society. By carefully investigating these issues and some more based on the students' researches, in-depth understanding of Korean society can be attained.