Anti-Americanism among South Korean university students

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201906112597
Title: Anti-Americanism among South Korean university students
Author: Timonen, Meri Tuuli Elina
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2019
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201906112597
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/302706
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Alue- ja kulttuurintutkimuksen maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in Area and Cultural Studies
Magisterprogrammet i region- och kulturstudier
Specialisation: Aasian tutkimus
Asian Studies
Asienforskning
Abstract: This thesis researches anti-Americanism among South-Korean university students. South-Korea is known to be very pro-American country, but anti-American sentiment has existed in the society especially in the beginning of 21st century. The goal of this thesis is to know, if anti-Americanism still exists in South-Korea. The university students are target group, since university students have been major force behind anti-Americanism since the 1980’s in South-Korea. The research question asks, how South Korean university students perceive the U.S. The hypothesis assumes, that they perceive the U.S. positively. Research literature focuses on books and articles about anti-American sentiment in South-Korea. The theoretical framework constitutes the concept of ethnic nationalism, that is widely researched among western and South-Korean scholars. Ethnic nationalism means nationalism based on the idea of ethnic unity. In Korea, it is traditionally connected with primordialism and uniqueness of Korean race. Also, theories of intercultural conflicts are applied. Not too much emphasis is paid to political aspects. This thesis focuses on nationalistic theories, and some identity theories are taken into consideration. Area- and cultural studies, sociology, history and are main study fields of this thesis. Gender studies are given some emphasis. The data is gathered with semi-structured survey research, conducted in November 2018 in Seoul, South Korea. The data consists 50 answers from Yonsei university students. The data is analysed both statistically and thematically. Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal-Wallis test are used in statistical analysis. SPSS serves as the main tool of the analysis. The analysis focuses on four different variables; gender, ideology, foreign experience and English skill. Thematic analysis is qualitative, whereas statistical quantitative. The results indicate, that male students have more positive view of the U.S. than female students. Furthermore, students with leftist-ideology hold more negative view than right-wing or centrist. Foreign experience and English skill had little influence on the views. Thematic analysis shows, that South-Korean students have very pragmatic attitude towards the U.S. Overall, the results argue, that South-Korean anti-Americanism is very complex phenomenon, and is constantly changing. Anti-Americanism exists in South Korea but is not so evident. People tend to have neutral attitudes towards the U.S. and this neutrality can vary from pro-Americanism to anti-Americanism. Causes behind anti-Americanism are so diverse, that it is hard to predict when anti-American sentiment gains popularity in the future.
Subject: Anti-Americanism
ethnic nationalism
university students
survey research
U.S.-ROK relations
intercultural conflict
South Korea
Subject (yso): nationalismi
etelä-korea
yliopisto-opiskelija
anti-amerikanismi


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