So... with my grad school courses, I have access to all kinds of badass academic databases like EbscoHost (which generally rocks) and Jstor and whatnot... they don't quite pool EVERY journal and article, but they cover most of the bases between them, and the journal stuff is fun. You know: for nerds like me.
Well... the topic I'd like to write on for one of my classes is this:
During mega-events like the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup, host nations get a huge stage on which to present their cultures. That's all well and good... but especially when those countries aren't part of the commonly accepted "West" (and sometimes even then), such events are also seen as opportunities for those countries to demonstrate that they're a "major player" and to prove their nation's level of "advancement" (whatever that means) -- think about how Beijing used the Olympics as much as a showcase of "rising China" as it was a showcase for athletes and sports and stuff. Part of Seoul 1988 was the Seoul "Look How Far We've Come" Olympics, and such a practice goes all the way back to Mexico (1968) (where folks were trying to get Mexicans to behave to "international standards" as well "Teaching Mexicans How To Behave: Public Education on the Eve of the Olympics").
Add to that the way sports are a GREAT arena to generate nationalist feeling, and to put together nationalist stories, and a country hosting a big event like the olympics is in a unique situation where the leaders/event organizers can work on changing the behavior of their citizens in order to meet "international standards" -- I'm working on digging up material about China's attempts to curb "rude" behaviors during the Beijing olympics, so as not to offend international guests, and I'd like to talk about Korea's own attempts to "meet international standards" (whatever that means, and whatever those are), in order to put Korea's best foot forward to the world, in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and the 2002 Korea/Japan world cup. I think it's interesting that part of creating one's own national story can (in the case of such a mega-event) be a kind of performance for an imagined audience (not all of it was, but part of it was)... and that the performance of one's own culture can, at the same time, change one's own culture.
For my paper, one of the articles I really wanted to look up was titled "Performing Nation-ness in South Korea During the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup"... for obvious reasons.
But Ebscohost didn't have the full text available. Crap.
...but Google Scholar did! I never expected in a decade that Google Scholar would have, for free, something the very extensive (and expensive, university sponsored) database didn't have.
So... cool. And you can read it yourself here.
And these are the things that make me excited these days. Also, the dog farted yesterday. It was funny.
The comments are open. You're free to call me a nerd.
Or even better, if you have links to Korean editorials, video clips of PSA's about "representing Korea to the world" during the 2002 World Cup or 1988 Olympics, or buzzwords, key phrases or slogans that'll bring them up for me while I search, you know, you can tell me about them, too. I'll find them on my own if you don't, but if you have that stuff at your fingertips/in your memory anyway... cool.