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How the “Modernization” theory infiltrated the academic arena in the 1960s, and the Korean historical studies ever since - Examination of Academic projects which proceeded with the ‘Modernization’ theme -

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2017, (125), pp.45-94
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

sin ju back 1

1연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The first conference to be held in Korea and to ever apply the “Modernization” theory of the U.S. Kennedy administration in its presentations was held in 1962. In this conference, the concept of modernization was understood as “Westernization,” and therefore the ‘beginning point’ of the modern period was extensively discussed. Koreans debate upon this matter, as well as their embracement of the “Modernization” theory, which began essentially with efforts concerning the issue of how to establish periods in Korean history, explosively expanded around 1965 when the Korea-Japan treaty was signed and a sense of crisis continued to rise amongst the Korean people. People started to search for entities (or trends) that opposed colonial ruling, and started to analyze and explain colonial historial perspectives. Periodization efforts concerning the entire Korean history resurfaced as well. The influx of the “Modernization” theory and its expansion in the 1960s was a process in which chronological time-consciousness and development-based perspectives were being newly labelled as a Nationalistic and Pro-‘social principles’ perspectives. An eye to monitor ‘internal developments’ was being ingrained in individual scholars’ perspectives and attitudes.

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