S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) 국제지역연구 국제지역연구 vol.05 (1996)
전후 미국에서 지역연구의 성립과 발전
The Formation and the Development of Area Studies in the United States
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 지역종합연구소
- 지역연구, Vol.05 No.3, pp. 223-268
- Area Studies, usually understood as the studies on the histories, languages and cultures of the various parts of the world, have developed with unprecedented scale in the United States after the Second World War. Being formed through the interaction with the social sciences, it has been the significant part of their history. The history of the Area Studies in the United States can be distinguished as follows. (1) the pre-history started from the 1800s, spanning to the 1900s approximately, (2) the formative years reaching to the circa. 1941 when the United States had participated the War, (3) the period of growth lasted for till the circa. 1973, and (4) the recent re-orientation period.
Area Studies in the United States originated from the strategic motive of the efficient war mobilization during the War. After the end of the war, it tended to orient the substantial needs of meeting the political, economic and military demands on the every part of the world under the influence of the Cold War. At the same time it was not insensitive to its theoretical implications, though differed by time and disciplines. As the main arena of the Area Studies has largely been the universities, it could not free from the influence of the main currents social sciences, to which it has obliged to adapt in one way or another.
Shortly after the end of the War, Area Studies in the United States had tried to establish the integrated and holistic approach, which soon subsumed under the instrumentalism as it was subjugated to the imminent policy objectives of the State and the enterprises. As a result, the "area" in the Area Studies came to be understood as the mere object, not the subject matter of it. The coming of the era of the so-called globalization and the transnational have threatened the very basis of the Area Studies, for it has failed to supply the relevant explanations of them. The recent changes, however, become the source of the renovated possibility at the same time, for it has been the Area Studies that has sensitively responded to the cultural and historical contexts.