Two Lenses on the Korean Ethos

Key Cultural Concepts and Their Appearance in Cinema

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About the Book

A war-torn country only 60 years ago, South Korea has since achieved prodigious growth and global integration, experiencing rapid industrialization and seeing its cultural exports gain international popularity. Because of this rapid transformation, an investigation of the Korean ethos—the shared self-concept woven through the divergent social contexts of both South and North Korea—is challenging. This book provides an introduction to the Korean ethos, detailing its representation in key cultural words and in film. Part I explores definitive concepts (terms) generally regarded as difficult to translate, such as han (regret), jeong (feeling) and deok (virtue), and how they are expressed in Korean cinema. Part II analyzes film narratives based on these concepts via close readings of 13 films, including three from North Korea.

About the Author(s)

Keumsil Kim Yoon is a professor of linguistics in the Department of Languages and Cultures at William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey. She has published widely in the areas of bilingualism, sociolinguistics and pragmatics.
Bruce Williams is a professor in the Department of Languages and Cultures at William Paterson University. He has published extensively in the areas of cinema history, film theory, and language and cinema.

Bibliographic Details

Keumsil Kim Yoon and Bruce Williams
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 288
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9682-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1787-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

Introduction 5

Part I: Conceptual Framework

Introductory Remarks 17

1. Understanding Key (Cultural) Words 18

2. Korean Key Cultural Words 38

3. Cinema, Culture and Key Words 77

Part II: Key Cultural Words Through Film Narratives

Introductory Remarks 107

4. Han in Venting 109

5. Jeong in Irrationality 140

6. Deok in Progress 167

7. Key Cultural Concepts as Viewed from the North 193

8. Expanded Viewings 215

Conclusion 243

Appendix: Romanization of Korean Words and Names 253

Chapter Notes 256

References 262

Index 273