[KS] Globalization and Cultural Identity; Globalization and everyday life in Seoul

Jamie Paquin jamiepaquin at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 4 09:47:33 EST 1999

Hello list members,

my thesis work deals with globalization, culture and the city with Seoul as 
a case study, and I am currently dealing with two aspects of this project.  
First, I intend to conduct online interviews or questionnaires with a group 
of EWHA students with whom I studied in the summer in order to explicate the 
way(s) in which the experience of globalization (esp. the awareness, 
experience and knowledge of other cultures) is being dealt with in terms of 
identity construction.  I am especially interested in the way this 
experience may be 'gendered', hence my focus on women.  (note: I do not 
intend to use a control group as the intent of this project is not to 
generalize about the identity/globalization relationship across all of 
Korean society.  Rather, I am interested in seeing how a group of women with 
a high degree of global awareness and experience (the case with these women) 
integrate (or not) this experience/knowledge within their identities as 
korean women).

As many of you have been to or are aware of Seoul's globalization and how 
people are responding to it, perhaps you could suggest suitable questions 
relating to the globalization/identity relationship and Seoulites?  
Thank-you very much in advance for your suggestions.

A second related question I have relates to the 'global' in the everyday 
life of Seoulites.  The signs and symbols of the global are visible almost 
everywhere in the city today, but what are Seoulites doing with them?  We 
are by now well aware that cultural practices often override the intend of 
systems, commodities and practices which are 'foreign' but how is this so in 
Seoul?  Can it be argued that the foreign restaurants, commodities, ideas 
etc. now available in Seoul strengthen the Seoulites ability to construct 
meaning and identity that is even more 'Korean' that would otherwise be 
possible?  Or do global flows threaten to wash away 'Koreaness'?  What are 
some examples of the global in the everyday in Seoul?

Too much already!  Anyway, I look forward to receiving comments from anyone 
interested in these questions.


Jamie Paquin
Department of Sociology
York University
jamiepaquin at hotmail.com

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