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Light and shade of multicultural education in South Korea

Light and shade of multicultural education in South Korea This paper aims to attend to the issues that remain veiled and excluded in the name of multiculture.Design/methodology/approachThis paper problematizes South Korean multicultural education policies through Bourdieu’s concept of capital as a theoretical frame.FindingsFirst, the paper discusses that material wealth is unequally distributed to most of the multicultural families, resulting in their lack of economic capital. Second, it notes that students from multicultural families are deprived of cultural capital, as they are racialized in Korean society. As a strategy used to distinguish and exclude a so-called different minority from the unnamed majority, race enables the possession of cultural capital. Third, insufficient social capital identified with resources emerging from social networks positions students from multicultural families as a perpetual minority. As the accumulation of various forms of capital secures power and privilege (Bourdieu, 1986), multicultural education in its current state would continuously reproduce the existing power dynamics where students from multicultural families are subordinate.Research limitations/implicationsGiven this, policies for multicultural education in South Korea should cover a wide range of issues, including race, class and network and be redesigned to resolve realistic problems that have been hidden under the name of celebration of culture.Originality/valueThe Korean multicultural education policy has not been analyzed through Bourdieu’s concept of capital. Using a different theoretical viewpoint would be valuable to figure out the problems underlying the policy. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal for Multicultural Education Emerald Publishing

Light and shade of multicultural education in South Korea

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2053-535X
DOI
10.1108/jme-11-2019-0081
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper aims to attend to the issues that remain veiled and excluded in the name of multiculture.Design/methodology/approachThis paper problematizes South Korean multicultural education policies through Bourdieu’s concept of capital as a theoretical frame.FindingsFirst, the paper discusses that material wealth is unequally distributed to most of the multicultural families, resulting in their lack of economic capital. Second, it notes that students from multicultural families are deprived of cultural capital, as they are racialized in Korean society. As a strategy used to distinguish and exclude a so-called different minority from the unnamed majority, race enables the possession of cultural capital. Third, insufficient social capital identified with resources emerging from social networks positions students from multicultural families as a perpetual minority. As the accumulation of various forms of capital secures power and privilege (Bourdieu, 1986), multicultural education in its current state would continuously reproduce the existing power dynamics where students from multicultural families are subordinate.Research limitations/implicationsGiven this, policies for multicultural education in South Korea should cover a wide range of issues, including race, class and network and be redesigned to resolve realistic problems that have been hidden under the name of celebration of culture.Originality/valueThe Korean multicultural education policy has not been analyzed through Bourdieu’s concept of capital. Using a different theoretical viewpoint would be valuable to figure out the problems underlying the policy.

Journal

Journal for Multicultural EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 23, 2020

Keywords: South Korea; Multicultural education; Policy; Bourdieu; Capital

References