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Nabilera Reilluminated from the Perspective of Humanistic Gerontology - New Views on Aging Represented in Korean Comic Books -

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2019, (73), pp.101-133
  • DOI : 10.31310/HUM.073.04
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : April 7, 2019
  • Accepted : May 8, 2019
  • Published : May 31, 2019

Kim, Kyunghwa 1 Ko, Bong-mann 2

1충북대학교 인문학연구소
2충북대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The aim of the paper is to explore a new perspective on the elderly in a Korean comic book Nabillera, published in 2017, in the light of humanistic gerontology. We also examined the trends in gerontology studies in the West and raised the need for the development of a new methodology of aging studies that can reflect the dynamic changes in Korean society. After determining a brief history of aging studies of the modern West, we explained the recent definitions of humanistic gerontology, and then analyzed how Deok-chul, the main character of Nabillera, grows up to search for the self-identity through the “narratives of becoming”. The narratives of becoming, coined by Hanne Laceulle, is a term serving as a prelude to the idea of self-realization. According to her, human beings answer the question who they are by telling the stories about themselves. Stories are thus granted a constitutive function in personal identities. Researchers of humanistic gerontology regard the elderly as the co-equal members of society not as social refugees, criticizing that mainstream gerontology doesn’t ask the fundamental questions of human existence. They suggest that older age needs to be explored without losing sight of the individual persons concerned. Humanistic gerontology is in a process that is yet to be fully established as a theory. This study helps expand humanistic gerontology to be a comprehensive and accurate theory through the analysis of Nabillera, the struggle for affirmation in old age.

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