Course Description

Course Name

Korean Society and Culture

Session: VSOS3221

Hours & Credits

3 Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


The goal of this course is to enhance our understanding of Korean society and culture by employing sociological perspective. Korea today consists of many elements of the past. These elements, while often less visible, still exert influence on everyday lives of Koreans. What might roughly be called 'tradition' has interacted with 'modern' forces of development in making complex 21st century Korea. In order to unravel this complexity, the lectures are organized around the question of how development has affected Korean society, culture, and people. During the first half of semester, we will examine Korean social change historically; this includes rethinking traditional culture, examining the role of Japanese colonialism, and evaluating the role of the U.S. in making Korean society. We also discuss issues of macro social changes such as development, urbanization, environmental problems. The second half of semester consists of studying specific social issues such as population, family, agriculture and food to widen our knowledge of Korean society today. By carefully investigating these issues and based on the students' researches, better understanding of Korean society can be attained.

Required Texts

  • Kim, Kyong-dong (ed.). 2008. Social Change in Korea. Seoul: Jimoondang.
  • Additional articles will be assigned in class.


*Course content subject to change