S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Korean Culture (한국문화) Korean Culture (한국문화) vol.41 (2008)
한국 내셔널 담론의 의미구조와 정치적 지향
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원
- 한국문화, Vol.41, pp. 245-262
- This paper aims to explain the complex meaning of "the national" in contemporary South Korea. The main argument is that the national discourse in Korea is so complex that "the national" should be differentiated into three concepts; kukmin, minjok and hankukin, Kukmin is used to identify the Republic of Korea as a nation (for example national income is usually expressed as "kukmin income"). Minjok is used to express both South and North Korea as a historically and culturally homogeneous community (for example "national unification" is said as "minjok unification"). Finally hankukin is used to mention ethnic Koreans without relation to any specific political community.
Three factors are examined for the differentiation of "the national" : development of the stateness in South Korea, cultural nationalism and globalization. Due to the strenthening of the stateness since democratization and industrializaion, the kukmin identity is growing rapidly in recent Korea. At the same time, there is still a strong sense of commonness between South and North Korea based on the minjok identity. Finally globalization brings about multi-ethnic and multi-national phenomena in Korea, which makes Koreans sensitive to the ethnic identity. In conclusion, "the national" needs to be explained contextually in order to understand its historical specificity.