Current Issue

2018- Volume15, Number 1, 2018 


Ideas of Nation and Childhood in Modern Korean Children’s Literature

Pages: 1–20

So Jin Park& Lana Lee

Abstract: Throughout Korea’s relatively turbulent modern history, the concepts of ‘the nation’ and ‘the child’ have been actively and diversely imagined, and the two ideas have complemented each other in representing Korea’s national identity. It is argued that the concept of ‘the nation’ is a construction established to meet the emotional needs of a particular group of people, and a way of implementing social and political ideologies within society. So too is the notion of ‘the child’. By examining Korean children’s literature from three distinct modern periods, this paper illuminates how representations of ‘the child’ have functioned in relation to the socio-cultural circumstances of the nation. It serves, ironically, as a stable but fluctuating ‘multi-functional space’ – hope, comfort, and encouragement for the powerless colonised people, the enactment of ideological messages, and a social experiment with a vision of creating a more tolerant future society.


International Marriage Immigrant Women’s Desires to Express and Preserve Their Home Culture in South Korea

 Pages: 21-46

Hyoun Ju Kang & Gary N. McLean

 Abstract: This study aims to understand how international marriage immigrant women maintain cultural identity while adapting to a new culture in South Korea. In order to fully understand the women’s experiences, a qualitative research methodology was utilised, coupled with a pheonomelogical approach, in interviewing 12 Korean-Chinese and Philippina immigrant women living in South Korea on their desire to express and preserve their home culture (EPHC). The analysis of the interviews with these women identified a strong desire to maintain their cultural identity in the process of cultural assimilation in the new country. The two groups, regardless of their original nationalities, showed a firm willingness to sustain their home culture in their choices of food, languages at home, children’s education and topics of discussion, as well as their wish to take their Korean family or friends to visit their home country. While their desire to EPHC was particularly heightened with regard to child-related issues, the results of the study confirmed that most of the women conformed to Korean culture on the basis that they had moved to Korea through voluntrary migration and hoped their children would settle well in Korea, suggesting a possible conflict between their desire to EPHC and cultural assimilation. This study not only presents a critical perspective to help break down negative stereotypes surrounding international marriage immigrant women but also contributes to the discussion about creating a favorable environment for building a multicultural society that supports cultural diversity


Apparel Evaluative Criteria Determining Continuance Usage Intention: Investigating the Role of Reflected Appraisals for Korean Women

 Pages: 47-68

Hyunsook Kim

 Abstract: The purpose of this study was: 1) to identify the salient dimensions of apparel evaluative criteria determining continuance usage intention, and 2) to investigate the role of reflected appraisals linking apparel evaluative criteria and continuance usage intention for Korean women by identifying a) the salient dimensions of clothing evaluative criteria determining reflected appraisals and, b) the effect of reflected appraisals on continuance usage intention. For this research, data was collected from a survey questionnaire conducted on a sample of Korean women (N=400) aged over 20 years old. Empirical data was tested against the proposed research model by using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation models. The results confirmed the factors of apparel evaluative criteria, consisting of design, usability, practicality, economics, prestige, comfort and brand. Results from structural equation modeling revealed that design and prestige were identified to dominantly influence reflected appraisals. Usability and brand, on the other hand, influenced continuance usage intention of apparel. Furthermore, reflected appraisals had a substantial effect on continuance usage intention. According to the findings, Korean women were significantly concerned about others’ appraisals when it comes to their apparel consumption. Finally, academic, practical and public implications of the findings are discussed, as well as its limitations Suggestions for future follow-up research are also proposed.


Teaching Korean as a Lingua Franca: Digital Uplifting Project at UNSW Sydney


Gi-Hyun Shin & Jasper Kun-Ting Hsieh

 Abstract: With the strategic supports of the Inspired Learning Initiative (ILI) Program by the Office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education) of UNSW Sydney, the beginners’ Korean courses (Introductory Korean A & B) received financial and technological supports to carry out a one-year digital uplifting project. The project was undertaken from August 2017 to July 2018, and this paper reports on its outcomes. The developments explained are, (1) pre-recorded lectures with Wirecast live streaming technology and lightboard, (2) trialling and implementation of PronounceMate, peer-review auto-correction pronunciation software, (3) Moodle-based online Korean language activities, including quizzes, conversations in 2D computer animation, grammar revisions in whiteboard explainer videos and cartoon-like graphics, as well as 360˚ virtual reality on Insadong-gil and Gwanghwamun area in Seoul, and (4) in-class cultural conversation activities with functional Korean speakers.

The significance of this paper, however, does not lie in the details of what the Korean Program at UNSW Sydney has achieved. It does in having added a sociological dimension to the discussion on teaching Korean as a foreign language (KFL), which has traditionally been couched in Applied Linguistics. While the main focus in teaching KFL has been on what to teach and how to teach, this paper raises a ‘why-we-teach’ question, arguing that we also need to look at pedagogical implications for ‘learning as belonging’ and ‘learning as becoming’. The foundation theory of the ILI project is Wenger’s (1998) notion of meaningfulness in his Communities of Practice (CoP); our teaching attention was shifted from “how much non-background Korean speaker students can learn from beginners’ Korean courses” to “how they are becoming intercultural in Australia’s multicultural society”. We thus motivate our students to pursue their identity as functional users of Korean and encourage them to engage with Korean communities.


[Korean Studies Update]

Opportunities and Challenges in Establishing the Korean Studies Program at the National University of Laos


Bouadam Sengkhamkhoutlavong


Regional Network for Korean Studies in Southeast Asia: Korean Studies in the Royal University of Phnom Penh


Som Ratana


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