Course code Soci1055
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Credit points, number of lectures
Credit points ECTS Credit points Total number of auditorium hours Number of lecture hours Number of seminars and practical work hours Number of student independent work hours
2 3 32 28 4 48
E-courses Soci1055: Contemporary South Korean Society I
Course annotation This course will survey the structure and patterns of contemporary Korean society, with an emphasis on understanding the cultural themes underlying Korean behavior and social organization. A comparative approach will be taken throughout the course to help students to understand the everyday traditions and self-identity of Korean people, the hierarchical structure of society etc.

Results After the successful completion of this course, students will get the impression of the structure of South Korean society and everyday traditions. Students will be able to independently make conclusions about the similarities and differences between the South Korean and Western everyday cultures.

Course plan 1. Course introduction and orientation. The concept of South Korean society. L1
2. Fundamental concepts: culture, culture area, 'great tradition' and 'little tradition', ethnicity and race L2
3. Korea in East Asian context: contrasts and similarities with China and Japan L3
4. Cultural geography: patterns in domestic and public space, urban-rural dichotomy, geomancy and symbolic orientation, mountains and seas L2
5. Language: the Altaic connection, borrowing and reinterpretation, 'words' written and spoken, contrastive semantic range, language and thought, core cultural values through language L2, S1
6. Personal space and personal interaction, eye contact and status, emphatic and semantic gestures L3
7. Social organization: family and kinship, clan organization, marriage patterns, identity and social roles, names, age and rites of passage L2
8. Social organization: hierarchical principles and the vertical society, groups and social context, 'friends, juniors and seniors' L2, S1
9. Social organization: gender roles and gender identity, work and family, male preference and demographic change L3
10. Family rituals, ancestors worship L3
11. Traditional cuisine as the self identity of Korean people L2
12. Education, employment and retirement L2
13. Discussion S1
14. Discussion S1
15. Course overview and conclusions L1
16. Written exam
Requirements for obtaining credit points Active participation in seminars and discussions 30%. One presentation 20%. Written exam 50%. Attendance – compulsory (have to attend 75% of lectures and 100% of seminars).
Study programmes Asian Studies