'노숙자의 정체성과 적응 전략: 인지인류학적 접근 : Identity and Adaptive Strategies of the Homeless in Seoul, Korea: An Ethnosemantic Approach

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서울대학교 비교문화연구소
비교문화연구, Vol.6 No.2, pp. 221-266
본고는 저자의 석사학위 논문인 "노숙자의 생활양식에 관한 인지인류학적 연구(2000)"의 일부분을 수정, 보완한 것이다.
본 연구가 구체적으로 관심을 가지는 것은 다음과 같은 것들이다.

첫째, 노숙자들이 자신들이 누구인지를 규정하는 데 즉, 자신들의 정체성을 표현하는 데 사용하는 여러 용어들을 수집하고 이에 반영된 의미 원칙들(semantic principles)을 살펴봄으로써, 이 하위문화의 구성원들이 자신들을 어떻게 규정하고 바라보는지를 알아본다.

둘째, 노숙자들의 생활세계에서 중요한 부분을 차지하고 있는 영역(domain)인 얻어 먹는 방법 에 대한 의미 분석(semantic analysis)을 통해 그들의 일상적인 생활 양식 및 적응 전략에 관해 구체적으로 살펴볼 것이다.

노숙자들의 세계를 그들의 시각에서 이해하고 기술하려는 본 연구의 목적을 위해 연구자에게 요구되는 것은 크게 두 가지였다. 첫째는 노숙자들이 어떻게 살아가고 있는지, 즉 그들의 일상생활에 대한 참여관찰이었으며, 다른 하나는 이들이 자신들의 경험을 표현하는 데 사용하는 언어적 표현들의 수집 분석 작업이었다. 전자는 노숙자의 삶에 관한 민족지적 연구라는 연구의 전반적인 내용을 위해, 후자는 개념적 세계에 대한 언어적 분석이라는 연구의 틀을 위해 필요한 것이었다.

This study attempts to describe subculture of homeless people in urban Korea, especially by focusing on their identities and life styles. To do this end, ethnosemantic approach is employed as a research tool.

The study mainly deals with two culturally significant domains of this subculture: their self-defined identities and strategies for economic survival.

Central to this study is to record the terms the homeless use to express their experiences regarding these two domains, and then examine their taxonomical and semantic relations, thereby describe the world of homeless in its own terms, as it is conceived and experienced by themselves. In this context, the main questions dealt with in this study are: (1) how do members of this group classify and define themselves? (2) what kinds of life style or adaptive strategies do they have? The former questions are answered by examining the identity domain, and the latter is dealt with in analyzing domain regarding begging practices.

The results of this study are as follows:

First, they define their primary identity with the word kuji(beggar)' . Although they are often referred to as homeless by other members of Korean society, they seldom use this term among themselves. Rather, they considered themselves just as the beggar who maintains their livelihood by means of begging. The word kuji(beggar) is found out to be a cover term which includes 10 kinds of beggars. In order to discover what it means to be a kuji, the word is defined both taxonomically and componentially. The results of semantic analysis to this domain show that, rather than the criteria of homelessness, their economic strategies, that is, how to maintain their livelihood is crucial component of their self-defined identity.

Secondly, how to earn a livelihood', that is, their way of earning a livelihood is found out to be main cultural theme of homeless subculture. They use many strategies to meet basic requirements of living: they can beg, get money by fraud, go to welfare agencies to participate in public works, and often work as day-laborers. Semantic analysis to this domain displays specialized modes of action the homeless uses in each case to make a livelihood. Especially componential analysis to begging practice reveals that their life styles based on mobility is the outcome of their effort to support themselves.
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Institute of Cultural Studies(비교문화연구소)비교문화연구비교문화연구 vol.06 no.1/2 (2000)
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