Contemporary Korean Society (PG)

Key information

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FHEQ Level

Module overview

The module is designed to offer a critical overview of changes occurring in the late 20th century Korean culture and society. The module will provide students with 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:

  1. Identify the range of approaches related to the field of Korean Studies.
  2. Critically discuss the main discourses dominating present day Korean culture and society.
  3. Apply multi-disciplinary methods and theories.
  4. Analyse a wide range of evidence and materials, including statistics, historical documents,
    newspapers, books and academic journals.
  5. Design an interdisciplinary research project that contributes to the field of Korean Studies.


Total taught hours: 20 hours. 1 hour lecture and 1 hour seminar 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

Reaction paper 1,000 words (25%)

Essay 2,500 - 3,000 words (75%)

Suggested reading

  • Chang, Yun-shik and Steven Hugh Lee, eds. Transformations in Twentieth Century Korea. London:
    Routledge, 2006.
  • Kendall, Laurel, ed. Under Construction: The Gendering of Modernity, Class, and Consumption in the
    Republic of Korea. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2002.
  • Lankov, Andre. The Real North Korea. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • Lee, Namhee. The Making of Minjung: Democracy and the Politics of Representation in South Korea.
    Ithaca: Cornell Unversity Press, 2007.
  • Oh, Youjeong. Pop City: Korean Popular Culture and the Selling of Place. Ithaca, New York; London:
    Cornell University of Press, 2018.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules