This research investigates the use of political silencing in South Korea and its impact on non-Koreans or ‘foreigners’ living in the country. Drawing on empirical studies and participatory-observation, research illustrates how Korea’s philosophical humanism leads to a society where foreigners can be included, but perpetually bound within a conditional status where Koreans must rear them into upstanding humans and, by default, make them more Korean. The findings show that despite diversification in mass media representation (e.g., TV shows, movies, commercials), non-Koreans remain bounded within a perpetual ‘child’ status due to the country’s political and security-driven need to stifle the voices of those who are not ethnically and nationally Korean. However, the research also provides new insights into how certain non-media industries and efforts, such as nation-building projects, civic campaigns, and labor unions, are helping to break through the trend of silence and create new forms of representation and opportunities. These industries include those that focus on strengthening multicultural policies and normalization of foreigner participation in community spaces. The research specifically highlights the need for greater awareness and understanding of how political silencing operates in South Korean and its impact on foreigners living in the country. It also highlights the need of opportunities that can more effectively break the barriers that perpetuate foreigners as ‘child’ status.
Robert Hamilton, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, South Korea
About the Presenter(s)
Dr Robert Hamilton is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea
See this presentation on the full schedule – Monday Schedule