S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.31 No.1/2 (2002)
Intellectuals and Power: The Changing Portrait of University Professors in South Korea
- Song, Ho Keun
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.31 No.1, pp. 107-124
- For decades after 1945 in Korea, the university has been a center of the intellectual community. Professors had been highly respected for their knowledge and moral spirit against various injustices of authoritarian regimes. University professors are more trusted than ant other professionals. In this sense, university professors have long enjoyed high social respect and have been an essential group of power elites who are ready to be involved in central politics. However, they have been confronted with many challenges from inside and outside academia by the eruption of the foreign debt crisis that occurred at the end of 1997. University professors became the main target of social blame and reproach for neglecting to warn of economic disaster, political decay, and social corruption. In fact, the challenge is nothing new to Korean professors, considering the crisis of research universities in foreign countries, especially in the United States. This paper describes the decline of the social status of university professors and various challenges they face in the wave of government strategic move to new intellectuals and the massification of intellectuals in the emerging knowledge-based economy.
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