Korean Identity Essay

1967 Words 8 Pages
Korea has a history over 5000 years and yet does not seem to be able to maintain it as one country. Due to North Korea’s struggle with her economy, a myriad of North Koreans evacuates to South Korea by crossing over the 38th parallel and risking their lives. Nevertheless, walking around Seoul, there are hardly any North Koreans. When they are found in public, South Koreans either keep distance from them or stare at them with despise; the 38th parallel seems to be segregating the North and the South among society as well. North Koreans recognize the hatred and either stay away from the public’s sight or go choose to undergo poverty by going back to their country. People recall the root of Korea’s segregation to the Korean War. For more than …show more content…
In “The Politics of Identity,” Kwame Appiah displays a criteria used to decide whether someone belongs to a group. The first step, he explains, is ascription. During Japan’s invasion, most Koreans considered Japan’s action cruel and unethical. On the other hand, during the Korean War, some supported communism and some supported democracy: no matter where they lived, Koreans tend to stand on one or the other. Since Korea was going through financially and politically weak stage, some thought that communism will lead to societal wealth and establish equality. Contrastingly, some believed that Korea needs democracy in order to form a stable government and society for future. Since “people will rarely agree on exactly which properties X’s must have” and Korea had no hard governmental foundation, Koreans easily separated depending on their beliefs. This naturally leads to identification stage. Relying on their political stance, they “[identify] as an X, which means [they] sometimes [feel or act] as an X.” Moreover, as they associate themselves with their accepted identities, they feel affinity towards the group that they indicate themselves with. As a result, Some Koreans moved to the North so that they can acquaint themselves with the Soviet Union and some remained in the South to stay with

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