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Teasing out the compressed education debates in contemporary South Korea: Media portrayal of figure skater Yuna Kim

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Author: Kim, Hye Jin
In this thesis, I argue that the heated debates about South Korea’s education policy consist of problems that arise from different genres of discourses that in turn belong to different historical moments and education values. I engage in a media discourse analysis of the reportage on South Korean international sport celebrity Yuna Kim that highlight the key education debates currently taking place in South Korea. First, I deal with the neologism umchinttal (my mom’s friend’s daughter) as an ideal student type. The use of the neologism suggests that students without familial cultural or economic capital do not have as much social mobility through education compared to the previous generation of students. Second, I look at the changing student-parent-teacher relationship through the controversy about Kim’s decision to part ways with her former coach Brian Orser. In the final moment, I point to the changes in the post-nationalist University through Professor Hwang’s criticisms on Yuna Kim’s teaching practicum.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Patton, Cindy
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