The issue of national identity for the korean people

In South Korea politicized regionalism has emerged between the southeastern Kyongsang Province and southwestern regions Cholla Province since the late s as a result of an uneven pattern of development that benefits people in the southeast. South Korea occupies the southern half of the Korean peninsula, which protrudes about miles 1, kilometers southward from the Eurasian landmass between Soviet Siberia in the northeast and Chinese Manchuria to the north.

The issue of national identity for the korean people

They are intended to convey to foreign visitors the dynamic and vibrant nature of the Korean people. Indeed, Korea is a country where so many incidents seem to happen that one almost trembles to open the newspaper every morning.

And in any sense, being dynamic is better than being tired all the time. But at least one foreigner has asked if sparkling water is a specialty product of Korea. The attention lavished on the national image is so great in Korea that a government committee on the national brand has been established.

What then is the image of our country and what is the identity of Korea and Koreans that has given rise to these slogans? These questions constitute the psychological exploration of Korean identity.

From the psychological perspective, the issue of the Korean identity is about finding the leading tendencies of Koreans and through what actions and character traits they reveal themselves.

Tendency to See Ourselves through the Eyes of Others As is fitting for the age of globalization, countless international events are held in Seoul and other places all over the country. To the foreigners visiting these events, we unfailingly ask: When economists and business management specialists, or foreign scholars and specialists of any kind in any field come to the country, we are quick to ask: And we press on regardless, even when it becomes obvious that the person really knows nothing about the country.

In the end, they are impressed by our zeal to hear what they have to say as if we believe their words have the power to define our image. There is a clear reason for asking these questions of foreigners. To be more exact, it is a reflection of our way of confirming our identity in the eyes of others.

Of course, the surveys are always targeted at foreigners. Once again, this shows the inability to see ourselves properly and the tendency to define ourselves by the way others see us.

It prompts me to wonder whether this is a remnant of our experience with colonial rule.

What Do Younger South Koreans Think of North Korea? | The Diplomat

Though more than 60 years have passed since we were freed from the Japanese, our way of constantly seeking to find out who we are is the behavior of those who have lived under foreign rule.

Exploring the Korean Identity Exploration of the Korean identity should now be about confirming our image with our own eyes. They tell you which group they belong to or what role they play in society.

Rarely will they tell you about their individual character or behavior, or their thoughts about life. I laugh a lot and like spending time with my friends. Sometimes I like to sit alone, and indulge in my own thoughts, and sometimes I let my imagination go. For this reason, foreign scholars quite easily mistake Koreans as having strong group tendencies.

Some have even said this tendency determines relations between people and make them unwilling to judge the good from the bad. Rather than engaging in self-exploration and reflection they constantly seek to know what others think of them and what kind of person they are in the eyes of others.

The important thing is not how an individual sees himself but how others see the individual. So, in Korea the concept of the sociology of identity may exist but not the psychology of identity. What kind of society is it when people cannot confirm their identities on their own but have to accept the identity bestowed on them by others?

In such a society people are always conscious of what others are thinking and find it difficult to confirm their positions in a changing world. For this reason, exploration of the mental world of Koreans through their identity should be approached from the psychological rather than the sociological perspective.

If we cannot see who we are for ourselves, no matter what other people might say, then the future we make cannot be anything but uncertain. No matter how hard parents work to make a bright future for their children, in the end the children have to forge their own lives.

This is not something parents can do for them. The psychological approach to identity gives us this starting point from which to understand the Korean identity. This state is generally manifested in a tendency toward abnormal or self-destructive behavior, lethargy or depression.

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One of the greatest tragedies of the inter-Korean conflict is the loss of shared identity between the two peoples. If the situation arises that the two nations have the opportunity to become one again, building a shared sense of collective identity will be the primary task of a unified administration.

What Do Younger South Koreans Think of North Korea? focuses on issues related to contemporary Korean national identity. The way young people see North Korean people is a bit more.

An individual’s identity in the group situation is the most concrete manifestation of personal character in everyday life.


Our common identity as Korean people seems clear enough, but when individuals are brought together under a group identity, it is hard to define one’s self and others with a single code.

Problems of cultural identity are closely connected to the tragedy of Korea's division into two hostile states.

The issue of national identity for the korean people

Many members of the younger generation of South Koreans born after the Korean War fervently embrace the cause of t'ongil, or reunification, and believe that it is the superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, who are to blame for Korea's national division.

Korean nationalism - Wikipedia