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The Impact of the Colonial Architectural Heritage on South Koreans' National Identity

Youn, Seung Ho (2014) The Impact of the Colonial Architectural Heritage on South Koreans' National Identity Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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This research examines how colonial heritage built in the period of the Japanese occupation impacts national identity in contemporary South Korean society. Particular attention in this research has been given to the issues concerning the process for identity construction and meanings construction. A philosophical paradigm in approaching people-cultural heritage relations is derived from a transactional position within environmental psychology which investigates cultural heritage within the broader context of both individuals and social experience. Key identity-related theories in social and environmental psychology, including Tajfel (1978, 1981, 1982) and Tajfel and Turner's (1986) Social Identity Theory, Breakwell's (1986, 1988, 1993) Identity Process Theory and Moscovici's (1984, 1988) Social Representation and the process of memory construction, have been employed. A multi-method approach, combining questionnaire, a Multiple Sorting Procedure and life history interviews, was adopted in order to provide more comprehensive evidence. This research found that colonial heritage is a social place strongly linked to multiple psychological motivations that contribute to an individual's identity. Colonial heritage is experienced in our multi-dimensional life and the context in which we live. Japanese colonial heritage in South Korean society is experienced as a threat that challenges the status and pride of a nation and its citizens. However, colonial heritage simultaneously becomes an essential part of individuals' personal identity as well as a substantial component of individuals' community identity. When individuals perceive threats to their sense of national identity, they engage in a range of self-protection strategies. Meanings of colonial heritage, which influence construction of identity, are consistently reconstructed and transformed by personal beliefs and values, knowledge and experience, as well as society to which people belong. Although the meanings of colonial heritage are widely shared in South Korean society, colonial heritage is differently remembered and experienced across generations.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Date : 11 February 2014
Contributors :
Additional Information : Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of Surrey. Copyright remains with the author.
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 11 Feb 2014 11:02
Last Modified : 26 Nov 2014 14:17

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