Instructor:  Professor Kim Eungi



Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to the main aspects of contemporary Korean society, including those pertaining to the family, industrialization, gender, aging, labor, population, religion, and political system.  The course will specifically focus on topics and issues that figure prominently in the lives of the Korean people, such as patriarchy, modernization, education frenzy, urbanization, authoritarianism, collectivism, and anti-Americanism.  Each of these issues will be examined through sociological, historical, comparative, and balanced perspectives.  The assigned readings that specifically deal with Korea will be supplemented by a reading from an introductory sociology textbook to enhance the students’ understanding of the workings of society and to help broaden their perspective to appreciate the social institutions of other countries.  Because this is not a lecture course, your participation is extremely important and is a vital part of the course.

Course Objective

The principal objective of this course is to prepare students with the knowledge and analytical tools needed to develop balanced views on Korean society.  Toward this end, students are expected to:


Recommended reading

John D. Carl. 2010. Think Sociology. London: Prentice Hall.

Alford, C. Fred. 1999. Think No Evil: Korean Values in the Age of Globalization. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Breen, Michael. 1998. The Koreans: Who They Are, What They Want, Where Their Future Lies. New York: St. Martin’s. Amsden, Alice. 1989. Asia’s Next Giant: South Korea and Late Industrialization.

Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kendall, Laurel. 2002. Under Construction: The Gendering of Modernity, Class, and Consumption in the Republic of Korea. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Lie, John. 1998. Han Unbound: The Political Economy of South Korea. Stanford:Stanford University Press.

Armstrong, Charles. 2002. Korean Society: Civil Society, Democracy and the State.New York: Routledge.

Oh, John Kie-Chiang. 1999. Korean Politics: The Quest for Democratization and  Economic Development. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.




Citation: Syllabus. (2010, August 11). Retrieved July 25, 2014, from Korea University OpenCourseWare Web site:
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