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A Study on the Way to Improve the Unification Consciousness in University Education

  • The Journal of Northeast Asia Research
  • Abbr : NEA
  • 2011, 26(1), pp.19-50
  • DOI : 10.18013/jnar.2011.26.1.002
  • Publisher : The Institute for Northeast Asia Research
  • Research Area : Social Science > Political Science > International Politics > International Relations / Cooperation

이경희 1

1호남대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

This paper has analyzed how university education on unification had to be formalized under the prevalence of neo-liberalism, which is a structural aspect of the Korean society. Through this analysis, the paper hopes to obtain a healthy framework in which university education can seek necessary and sufficient conditions for education on unification. While university education must prevent indoctrination of political ideologies and strive for desirable agendas, the education has unfortunately become formalized according to the ruling party and vested interests. Such formalization has continued to this day. Thus, the paper points out the structural limitation imposed by university education which focuses on functionality, as well as neo-classical discourse, devises to overcome the lack of appropriateness of abstract discourse on unification under the current education paradigm. Civil education and unification education in universities in Korea are emphasized because they enhance the efficiency of, and obtains legitimacy for, the political system. Also, such education integrates the society and prepares next generation of civil citizens for developed democracy. However, such functional needs cannot be met under the current educational environment which concentrates solely on career development and simple transfer of knowledge. Perhaps the root of the current problem is structural, in that unification issue has become externalized on specific values. However, we can also specify other roots of the problem, namely that South Korea is a trade-oriented country and that certain groups have privatized social values and norms. This paper argues that the Korean society should break away from oppresive and exclusive dominance on constituents and that it should rather learn how to resolve conflicts through trust and communication, in order to achieve substantial democracy. Simultaneously, university education on unification should take epistemological approach the subject, not that of enlightenment. Furthermore, it should do away with emphasis on homogeneity which entails persuasion instead of acceptance of others. Lastly, unification education should convert tnself from a "government" activity to the post-modern, more comprehensive "governance" process.

Citation status

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