DESCRIPTION OF COURSE UNIT

1.
Course unit title

Code

KOREAN SOCIETY AND CULTURE
2.
Name of lecturer(s)

Department(s)
Institute of Political Sciences
Faculty of Politics and Management
Mykolas Romeris University

Coordinator: Prof. dr. Vladislav Sotirovič

3.
Cycle of course unit
First

Level of course unit
Bachelor

Type of course unit
Free optional

Mode of delivery

Year of study and semester
when the course unit is delivered
Autumn/Spring

Language of instruction

4.

Class room

English

5.
Study requirements
Co-requisites:

Prerequisites:
No prerequisits

No co-requisites

6.
Recommended optional programme components
No recommended optional programme components
7.
Number of ECTS
credits allocated
ECTS

Student’s workload

Contact work hours

hrs

hrs

Independent work
hours
hrs

8.
Purpose of the course unit: programme competences to be developed
Course content:
This course presents the fundamental development of the Korean society and
culture from historical perspective and contemporary politics dealing with
the most important features of historical, social, cultural, political and
economic aspects of Korean people. The people of Korean Peninsula were
traditionally mostly peasants with a low living standard. Nevertheless, today,
this is no longer true for the South Korea, which has emerged as one of the
leading global industrial nations. The course places the political and
economic contemporary regional development of Korea in the changing
nature of the national politics and economies, especially its fast integration
into the global system of values, regulations and standards.

Learning outcomes of the
programme
Students will be able to receive
knowledge within a common
education framework of
humanitarian and social
sciences

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Learning outcomes of the
course unit
Students will be able to
understand Korean
cultural, political and
economic role and
influence in the region of
Asia-Pacific

Teaching and
learning methods
Lectures
Independent
studies
Individual and
group work

©Vladislav B. Sotirovic

Assessment
methods
Students’ work
achievement is
evaluated within
the framework of
the 10-point scale
following
publically

Students will be able to
disseminate their received
knowledge and trained skills

Students will be able to
understand the nature of
Korean society and
culture

Case studies

Students will become
familiar with the
fundamental issues of
Korean politics and
economic development at
the time of globalization

Learning and
organization work
at the Moodle
electronic-study
system
Co-operative
learning method

Students will be able to
analyze a case study by
individual or group work
Students will be able to
criticize an opponent’s
view within a framework
of tolerance and
competence on the topics
of Korean culture,
society, history, economy
and politics

announced
assessment criteria,
methods and
procedure by the
Mykolas Romeris
University
Assessment
methods –
examination
(frontal,
individual),
individual
presentation
evaluation and the
integral test of
theoretical and
practical
knowledge

9.

1. Historical
context
of
Korean
Peninsula and Korean people

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Independent work
hours

All contact work
hours

Independent work
hours and tasks

Tasks

1

Korean Peninsula between national
independence of the Yi dynasty and
Chinese and Japanese spheres of influence;
Korean Peninsula during the WWII;
Korean War in the 1950s; Political and
national division of the Korean Peninsula
after the Korean War; Different political
and economic systems of two Koreas after
the Korean War; Two Koreas in
international relations; The North Korean
political autarky and authoritarianism;
Democratization process in the South
Korea; The two Koreas after 1991 up today
2. Korean political system and politics
at the time of globalization

Internship

Laboratory work

Training exercises

Seminars

Lectures

Topics

Consultations

Course contents
Contact work hours and planned
learning activities

To read the
literature
To study
within the
framework
of the
electronic
(Moodle)
system

1

©Vladislav B. Sotirovic

To read the
literature

Development and the fundamental features
of political system in contemporary Korea;
Differences between political systems of
two Koreas after the Korean War in the
1950s; Foreign and regional policy of the
South Korea; The “Asian values” – the East
Asian view of human rights and democracy
and Korea; The main challenges to the
process of democratization in the
contemporary Korea
3. The Korean religious culture

To study
within the
framework
of the
electronic
(Moodle)
system

1
To read the
literature

Korean religious history; Shamanism as the
oldest set of religious beliefs in Korea;
Confrontation of Shamanism with NeoConfucianism and its social consequences
for the Korean society; Shamanism as an
economic resource; The role of Shamanism
and Neo-Confucianism in the lives of the
Koreans; Historical importance of spiritual
practice of Shamanism and NeoConfucianism in the Korean culture and
development of the society.

4. The South Korean culture, economy
and society at the time of
globalization: Globalization’s impact
to the region of Asia-Pacific and
Korean Peninsula

To study
within the
framework
of the
electronic
(Moodle)
system

1

To read the
literature

Concept and definition of globalization;
Controversial nature of globalization;
Globalization of the world economy and
politics; Fundamental economic and
political consequences of globalization to
the countries of Asia-Pacific and especially
to the South Korea; The foundations of the
South Korean economic power at the time
of globalization; The South Korean APEC
membership; The South Korean G20 Group
membership and participation; Impact of
globalization to the Korean culture and
social life
Overall
10.
Assessment strategy

Written exam (integral
test to check theoretical
and practical
knowledge)

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Weighting
percentage
40%

To study
within the
framework
of the
electronic
(Moodle)
system

4

Period or
date of
assessment
Session
period

Assessment criteria

The test consists of open and closed questions
(varying difficulties, from understanding to
evaluation), each question is worth one point
Assessment:
5: Excellent knowledge and skills. 45-50% of
correct answers
4: Good knowledge and skills; may be minor
errors. 35-44% of correct answers
3: Average knowledge and skills; there are errors

©Vladislav B. Sotirovic

Individual self-work
during the semester
period

40%

Semester
period

Class room work during
the seminars

20%

Semester
period

25-34% of correct answers
2: Knowledge and skills are below average; there
are (basic) errors. 15-24% of correct answers
1: Knowledge and skills to satisfy the minimum
requirements; lots of errors. 5-14% of correct
answers
0: Does not meet minimum requirements. 0-4%
of correct answers
Assessment:
The structure of presentation (evaluation criteria:
clear and consistent layout (introduction, body
and conclusion)) up to 1 point;
Conceptualism of presentation (evaluation
criteria: complete and reasonable disclosure of the
chosen topic) up to 2 points;
Failure to deliver presentation - 0 points
20% - to actively and constructively participate in
discussions, to answer questions, to formulate
problems and issues, to provide critical
comments;
10% - to participate in the debate, to answer to
frequently asked questions;
0% - almost does not participate in the discussion
or spent more than 1/3 of the seminars

11.
Required reading
Ch. K. Armstrong, The Koreas, New York−London: Routledge, 2014
D. Oberdorfer, R. Carlin, The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History, New York: Basic Books, 2014

Recommended reading
V. Cha, The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2013
D. Tudor, J. Pearson, North Korea Confidential: Private Markets, Fashion Trends, Prison Camps,
Dissenters and Defectors, Tuttle Publishing, 2015
A. Lankov, The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia, Oxford−New York:
Oxford University Press, 2014
J. K. Oh, Korean Politics: The Quest for Democratization and Economic Development, Ithaca−London:
Cornell University Press, 1999
D. Tudor, Korea: The Impossible Country, Tuttle Publishing, 2012
D. McDougall, Asia Pacific in World Politics, Lynne Riennep Pub., 2006
M. Beeson, Regionalism and Globalization in East Asia: Politics, Security and Economic Development,
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014
D. Ch. Shin, Confucianism and Democratization in East Asia, Cambridge−New York: Cambridge
University Press, 2012
S. Kim, Confucian Democracy in East Asia: Theory and Practice, New York: Cambridge University Press,
2014
D. A. Bell, Ch. Li (eds.), The East Asian Challenge for Democracy: Political Meritocracy in Comparative
Perspective, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013
B. Gilley, The Nature of Asian Politics, New York: Columbia University Press, 2014
A. Anagnost, A. Arai, H. Ren (eds.), Global Futures in East Asia: Youth, Nation, and the New Economy in
Uncertain Times, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013
T. Haseqawa (ed.), The Cold War in East Asia, 1945−1991, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011
R. K. Schoppa, East Asia: Identities and Change in the Modern World (1700 to Present), Pearson, 2007
P. Ebrey, A. Walthall, East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History, Wadsworth: Cengage Learning,
2014
Ch. Holcombe, A History of East Asia: From the Origins of Civilization to the Twenty-First Century,
Cambridge−New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011

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©Vladislav B. Sotirovic