Who cares about one blood in this global society?: a qualitative study of South Korea's reunification curriculum
Chung, Yoo Jin
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This qualitative study examined South Korean teenagers' views on North Korea and possible reunification. In-depth interviews conducted with fourteen (14) South Korean high school students reported that these teenagers were tom about whether or not they should support reunification. While students acknowledged the lack of dialogue and discussion on reunification in the classrooms and with family members, they particularly had a difficult time making sense of North Koreans as one people based on the same blood and ancestry. Rather than the same genealogy with North Koreans, cultural compatibility was identified as the most important criterion for these fourteen students who were raised in the consumerist, global society and identified themselves with westernized, pop culture to measure connect-ability with North Koreans. Interviews with six (6) teachers in civics, ethics, and history, and three (3) curriculum experts as well as textbook analysis corroborated these findings from the student interviews. Cultural psychology and institutional theory provided theoretical frameworks to gam a comprehensive understanding of how cultural elements and institutional resources and conditions helped or hindered these South Korean teenagers' understanding of their relationship with North Koreans and possible reunification. Overall, these findings have policy implications for revising South Korea's education for reunification curriculum to better prepare future generations of one Korea.
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