Modernization and Nationalism in South Korea

2312 Words Jun 3rd, 2013 10 Pages
Is it possible to preserve traditional Korean culture as South Korea continues to modernize and Westernize?

In the 21st century, modernity is often equated with capitalism-industrialization, though the concept is more complex than that. The idea of modernity can be defined on sociological, political and cultural platforms. Modernity is a powerful notion, a departure from tradition; driven by political, social and economic developments. It is the acceptance that progress is inevitable. Because this departure from conventional, cultural practices is essential to the implementation of modernization, many societies have struggled with breaking from tradition in an effort to modernize, to varying degrees of success. The difficulties to
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An ethnically defined Korea continues to gives Koreans a stimulus to national pride, and feeds hopes for the reunification of the Korean peninsula. The movement places emphasis on traditional Korean customs. Advocates wants to ensure that the next generation continues to preserve plus pass on these conventions. Korean ethnic nationalism reached its peak during the biggest threat to Korean culture in the past century. Not modernization, but the Japanese occupation of the peninsula from 1910 to 1945.
During the occupation, the Japanese enacted policies trying to stomp out Korean language and culture, replacing it with Japanese language and culture. This includes censoring newspapers, prohibitions on Korean language, distortion of Korean history, relocation of cultural artifacts to Japan, Japanese-centered education, altering public monuments and so on. In general, the awareness of Korean history among Koreans declined substantially during this period; the new generation grew up with little or no awareness of their own heritage. The Japanese altered Korean history to justify their occupation of the peninsula to the international community by painting the Koreans as backwards and in desperate need of modernization. This was possible in part because Korea had sealed itself off from outside contact for centuries.
Resentment of the harsh treatment of Koreans eventually led to a revival of Korean nationalism, including in-depth research projects into the standardization

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