SOAS University of London

Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Contemporary Korean Society

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 2
Taught in:
Term 1

The module is designed to offer a critical overview of changes occurring in the late 20th century Korean culture and society. The module will prepare students for the year abroad, by providing an overview of issues facing contemporary Korean society.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a clear knowledge about the discourses dominating present-day Korean culture and society.

  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of present-day Korean

  • Bibliographic research methods in relation to contemporary Korean

  • Successfully gain the cultural and societal knowledge for their year abroad 


Total taught hours: 20 hours. 1 hours lecture and 1 hour seminar per week for 10 weeks.

Independent study: 130 hours

Total hours for module: 150 hours

Scope and syllabus

This module is designed to look at Korean culture and society. Specific topics to be dealt with include:

  • changes of gender roles
  • identity issues
  • North-South relations

Method of assessment

  • Outline and bibliography (1500 words) 30%
  • Essay (2500 words) 70%

Suggested reading

Core Reading

  • John H. Koo & Andrew C. Nahm, An introduction to Korean culture. Elizabeth, NJ: Hollym, 1997.
  • DS Macdonald, The Koreans : contemporary politics and society, Westview: Boulder, 1988. 


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules