Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mini-Rant on the Radio: Multiculturalism: You're doing it wrong

Well, Roboseyo's back on the radio...

I'm doing a piece called "Blog Buzz" on TBS Efm, where I get to highlight different pieces that are on the blogs, and talk about the issues they raise, and what the expat bloggers are saying about Korea.

Last week I talked about EatYourKimchi's piece, "Are you a fat and ugly foreigner"

and this week - tomorrow at 8:15 AM - I'll be talking about this piece, which as prompted an interesting conversation so far:

Asian Correspondent reports on a piece about Seoul opening the first high school for mixed race students...

and I'm a bit bugged by that. Because taking the multicultural kids OUT of regular Korean schools won't make Korea a multicultural society -- teaching multicultural kids' classmates what it means to have a multicultural classmate, and that they're no different than the rest of them, will. In my opinion.

So far, Korean policy-makers seem to have a lot of problems understanding what multiculturalism actually is.


What do you think about this multicultural high school, and other such efforts?


holterbarbour said...

Someone smarter than me pointed out recently that all these efforts at a multicultural society are not that at all- they're efforts at integrating multi-racial segments of the population into a monoculture. Korea is not ready for a multi-cultural society, and I seriously doubt the curriculum at Mixed-Race 초등학교 is going to do much other than make sure these kids abandon their other identities in favor of their Korean-ness. I say STOP MAKING NATIONAL IDENTITY SUCH A BIG FUCKING DEAL. Sure, it's hard to escape in a society as racially unique as Korea, but all this DOKDO/JAPAN/URINARA/KIMCHI/HANGULISTHEBEST/FOURDISTINCTSEASONS crammed down throats from age 0 does not need to be there to aggravate things.

JLR said...

Totally agree. Growing up, some of the schools I attended were ethnically mixed and some were almost all white. I know my experience does not make a universal truth. But having seen both, I firmly believe that allowing "otherness" based on race to flourish never turns out well, and that's exactly what this kind of situation encourages. It's much harder to see someone as a "them" when you share a lunch table every day.

Anonymous said...

Holterharbour's comment is spot on. There's a lot of programmes around in Korea to "help" people considered to be not real Koreans to be more Korean.

For a long time after South East Asian brides began being brought into the country the only assistence given to the couples was Korean culture and language lessons to the women. That's starting to change, but the greater emphasis within the assistance programmes and society as a whole is for the foreign women to learn to be good Korean wives.

Those who have worked here as English teachers will know that they are expected to pick up and follow the "Korean way" of doing things very quickly - cultural differences are at best acknowledged but generally not accepted, and at worst downright disapproved of.

There are institutions - schools most often, but also orphanages, adult education centres, dormitories and so on - all over the country that purport to help various "outsider" groups such as North Korean refugees, imported brides, foreign labourers, mixed race children and so on. But, as said above, all they do is emphasise differences and increase exclusion and the feeling of otherness.

Far less emphasis is placed on truly educating the population about all the different types of people living among them. Even less on actually accepting them as an equal and valid part of the society. All of these groups are still generally viewed as other, as "foreign", and as 신기하다.

Lolimahro said...

I think the Global School on its own could be fine as long as it doesn't become a trend. There are schools that are traditionally held by a majority of one demographic back in our home countries (traditionally black colleges, gender-segregated schools, etc). It seems like someone started started this Global School in an effort to meet a need where the government is not currently meeting it. So, while I don't oppose the school itself, I even think it's fine as long as the government starts getting on its own track towards better racial/ethnic/socioeconomic/whatever integration in currently-existing public schools.

I'd hate to see it become the status quo where students who are "different" are forced to go to alternative schools because the public system refuses (or just doesn't even try, or doesn't get the support it needs) to meet their needs. (I already see a lot of this in the private religious English-immersion school where I work. A shocking number of parents seemingly couldn't care less about their kids' grades or whether they can speak English - they just want their kids to not be getting beat up at school every day like they were in public school.)

A Deal Or No Deal said...

I disagreed strongly with this idea initially, much as I disagreed with the idea of an "Afrocentric" school in Toronto, but unlike the latter, there is a very pressing need for the former. Black students in Toronto do have significant issues that other schools might not address, but the situation for them is not as dire as it is for mixed-race or non-Korean children in Korea. Simply attending school is a significant challenge for such students.

Of course, I would rather see the administration, teachers and students at mainstream schools become more accommodating of those who are different, but how long will that take? Three years? Five years? What about the education of these disadvantaged children in the meantime?

I can accept this school and even other schools like it, but not the prevalence of the movement behind it. Korea's approach to these newcomers and the presence of diversity is often to create a separate, parallel society, but that's a step to failure. It's like learning about Korean cinema by watching subtitles.

At some point, these children will have to succeed in Korean society, whether that means attending a mainstream high school or getting a regular office job. Such schools might be a step towards that goal, but an exclusionary policy on the whole will lead to a generation of students lacking education and subsequent career prospects.

Eugene said...

The problem is, if you simply put the mixed kids in there in public schools,it does not bring attention to the country being multicultural.

This way they get to say look how multicultural we are! We're building a GLOBAL SCHOOL. And they get to trot out buzzwords like multicultural and global (see my buzz words post).

That said, I think that some good could actually come out of this. When I was growing up, I thought I was inherently special because I was the only multiracial asian in the entire school/city/county/state besides my siblings, and I thought I was special and had the best of both worlds because of all the drivel that my parents were feeding me about how unique I am. If I was put in a school full of other mixed asians then I wouldn't have felt like I was so awesome simply because my parents grew up on seperate continents.

That said, I wouldn't support a separate school, but it might be nice to sponsor some kind of nationwide children's gatherings for the kids to meet each other once or twice a year.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Roboseyo said...

re: that deleted comment:

400 words. 350 words of boring recycling of same old hate korea cliches. 50 words on topic.

Try again with just the 50.

Bluebird said...

I think it was because mixed kids, esp from south eastern descent, have a hard time catching up with the intensive academics of Korean high schools... most of these kids come from rural families and they have a lot of work to do catching up with Korean kids who go to hakwons and tutors everyday.. I also know for a fact that many of these kids do not even make it to high school due to academic pressures and the inability to adjust to the school life. I think that maybe a "catch up program" for mixed kids is necessary but not a whole entire school to segregate them from the native Korean kids

Anonymous said...

If you look at studies put out by pro-diversity academics like Robert Putnam, the data actually show that diversity is a source of devastating weakness in a society. The results are politically incorrect and go against the "diversity is our strength" narrative, but data are data.

I'm very skeptical of facilitating multiculturalism in a nation like South Korea, which has long had a distinct culture that would be compromised if it became more tolerant, liberal, multicultural, diverse, whatever... because these are Western notions of how society ought to be, and Korea never was the West. This is cultural imperialism masquerading as the spread of tolerance. The Western Man's Burden.

I express the opinion that Korea ought to be allowed to stay Korean, even if it makes our hearts bleed for the people who get the short end of the stick in Korean society.

ZenKimchi said...

I read that the multicultural school would also have Koreans in it. So it's not completely segregated. Who knows? Maybe it would become like the international schools where Koreans feign non-Koreanness to get in.

Roboseyo said...


the problem with your comment is this:

Korea is already multicultural. If you were espousing those opinions in 1988, urging not to allow migrant workers and international marriages, you might have gotten what you want... but Korea ALREADY HAS over a million non-Koreans living in its borders. If it were a question of WHETHER Korea were to become a multicultural society, we'd have something to talk about, but the question now is not WHETHER, but HOW Korea becomes a multicultural society.

Refusing to develop any policy or practical methods of ensuring the multicultural citizens already living in korea, who are already citizens of Korea, will lead to a very large, very unhappy disenfranchised population. Yes, social cohesion is important in Korea, but that means honest discussion about managing multiculturalism in a way that maintains maximum social cohesion is necessary, not ghettoization and marginalization of those who don't fit the uriminjok profile, so that the "pure" Koreans get to pretend there isn't a problem.

What the hell does 'Korean' in "I express the opinion that Korea ought to be allowed to stay Korean" mean, anyway? Whose definition of 'Korean' are you taking? Because the definition of 'Korean' has changed a lot over the last hundred twenty years, and whatever you say, I bet there's a pure blooded Korean north of the DMZ who will disagree with your definition.

Or maybe not.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, take a breath. Relax.

South Korea has a population of almost 50,000,000. Of the 1,000,000 or so foreigners, half are Chinese, and the majority of those Chinese are actually Korean-Chinese, so once you break the numbers down, diversity in South Korea is not as sweeping as it might have seemed initially. This puts the number of foreigners of non-ethnic Korean extraction living in South Korea somewhere a little over 1%. 1 - 1.5% is, how shall I say, not exactly an overwhelming enough portion of the population for Korea to change its name from R.O.K. to R.O.M.K., the “M” standing for “Multicultural,” of course. And I mean the name change figuratively.

You’re putting a lot of inferences behind my words, particularly when you mention with scary absolutist rhetoric the banning of migrant workers and international marriages, though my post was more focused on Western cultural imperialism, which you completely ignored in your response. I’m amazed at how briskly you skimmed over the influence that lack of diversity has in maintaining social cohesion, too. Social cohesion, or what Putnam refers to as “Social Capital,” is what makes for a healthier civil society and better-functioning democracy, and increased diversity has the exact opposite effect. Why do you ignore that crucial component when its preeminence is a fact, not an opinion? Did you even read the link I included? It should make the hairs on your neck stand, especially since we’ve only been told the opposite our whole lives by people who never had sound empirical evidence to prove a word of it.

Discussions of multiculturalism have been taking place for decades in the West, where this idea that diversity is/will eventually be a strength is no longer valid, much to the chagrin of those who wish the facts just weren’t so, like Robert Putnam himself. Truth is, nobody knows how to do it even with decades of ceaseless discussions in some countries, and I personally think East Asian countries are going to have an even harder time trying to square the circle.

Lastly, as for my comment about what a Korean Korea looks like, it’s pretty simple: We all know that multiculturalism ain’t it.

Eugene said...

Via Korea,

I can understand what you have to say about western cultural imperialism, and to better explain what it means that Korea should be allowed to stay Korean.... I get it. Multiculturalism in Korea should not be defined or judged by Western standards. Fair enough.

But Korea can ill afford to just sit around and do nothing. Koreans are having fewer and fewer children, meaning eventually immigration will be a necessity just to keep the population pyramid in tact so that the country can afford to pay social security. It may take a generation, but eventually the way that Koreans themselves identify themselves is bound to change.

Anonymous said...

Hi Eugene,

South Korea's low fertility rate is a great point that I address at my blog. It's too long for a post here, so check it out there if you're interested.

Here's a teaser:

"Eugene is correct when he points out the demographic time bomb that is the low TFR. [...] But rather than jump to the conclusion that South Korea must accept fresh-off-the-boat immigration (hereafter, the FOB Conclusion), I’d start by pointing Eugene north. If that regime to the north collapses in the next decade or two, there’d be more cheap Korean-speaking, Kimchi-eating labor than South Korea could ever use, which would make all that non-Korean immigration from the FOB Conclusion redundant and counterproductive for social capital."

Roboseyo said...

OK, viakorea...

from the article you linked about the downside of multiculturalism:
your link didn't work. Hopefully this one will.

It didn't make my hair stand on end. In fact, it made me wonder if you read the whole article.

"If ethnic diversity, at least in the short run, is a liability for social connectedness, a parallel line of emerging research suggests it can be a big asset when it comes to driving productivity and innovation."

"Diversity, it shows, makes us uncomfortable -- but discomfort, it turns out, isn't always a bad thing. Unease with differences helps explain why teams of engineers from different cultures may be ideally suited to solve a vexing problem. Culture clashes can produce a dynamic give-and-take, generating a solution that may have eluded a group of people with more similar backgrounds and approaches."

so... baby... bathwater... but that article isn't as one-sided as you make it out to be. The final third also discusses a new concept of community "a "new, more capacious sense of 'we,'" that can emerge in diverse communities.

yeah, Germany announced the failure of multiculturalism a while ago... so it's clearly time to look for a new model for multiculturalism, not to give up on it. The way people move in our mass-transportation, mass migration world, and the number of non-Koreans who ALREADY live in Korea, and aren't leaving, makes that option a nonstarter.

Roboseyo said...


I think you're being a little naive if you think that North Koreans will happily be imported to work as South Korea's labor force, and happily swallow, en masse, the second-class treatment DDD workers and tradespeople receive here.

Meanwhile, a group of people who have been raised and educated under such a vastly different ideology than the South, have been regularly instructed on why the South is inferior, and why they should hate or mistrust South Koreans, and whose lack of proper nutrition during childhood have left many physically or mentally stunted... do you really think it'll take any less work and cost integrating them into Korean society, or changing Korean society to accomodate them? I don't. Perhaps more... with extra frustration, because while Korean society's dealing with their challenges, both sides will also be dealing with disillusionment: "I thought reunification would be easier than this" where with immigrants, at least everybody on either side already recognizes it won't always be a smooth ride.

Will North Korean workers have the skills and training to fill the needed roles? Or wil NK electricians be lost on any system with technology newer than 1982? Will enough of them have the capacity (poor nutrition = stunted mental capacity) to be trained/retrained? And if there are indonesian electricians with their tradesman's card in hand, wanting to immigrate, who's excited enough to come to Korea that he's already completed a survival level Koran course? Why would we turn that guy away in favor of a North Korean who may or may not be able to complete the training?

Have you read much about how North Korean refugees are treated in South Korea? It's kinda shitty. Why do you think that would change if more came... and if enough came to, say, occupy Gwanghwamun square for a protest, what makes you think they wouldn't, and disturb shit in a host of other ways? --and the South wouldn't be able to deport them easily, the way they do with south-asians who demand collective bargaining rights.

Indulge me: tell me why you think it WON'T be this way and kindly offer a little more than the "because we're one blood" anodyne. I'm one blood with my sister, but we used to fight like cats and dogs.

Secondly, this STILL doesn't answer the question of what Korea will do about the immigrants and multicultural Korean citizens or residents who already live here, and whose kids will grow up to be an angry underclass if Korea's social system doesn't find a way to assure them they're receiving treatment and access to opportunities that's similar to "pure blood" citizens. These kids are already being ostracized in school, and have a higher dropout rate than other groups. You're willing to let them twist in the wind?

I'm not. Because my kid is one.

Roboseyo said...

last one

Finally, you DO have to define what it means to be "Korean" -- such vague talk doesn't help anybody develop a social policy that works, when everyone has a different idea of what it means to be Korean. Look at how both sides of Korea's (extremely polarized) political spectrum use nationalist rhetoric for their own ends, or how North Korea and South Korea both claim to be the legitimate Korea... "let korea be korean" is a uselessly vague statement.

Have you read my series about cultural purity? it lays out my position... one that I don't think you'll ever agree with, whether or not you choose to continue this back-and-forth.

As for social capital... would you really say that the country featuring mass protests every spring and tear gas in parliament, where Jeolla and Gyeongsan province are dead rivals, that hasn't been able to make peace with its blood brother to the north, is a model of social cohesion to begin with?

Eugene and you are right - multiculturalism in Korea will look different, and be enacted differently, than in Germany or the UK... but ignoring it is going to lead to trouble, and I think North Korean labor is a cop-out argument, what will create a different set of problems, even as it solves the supposed problems of multiculturalism.

Roboseyo said...

one last thing, though:

From your own blog post:

"Koreans are superb at taking Western ideas and making them work for Koreans, so I have a lot of confidence in their ability to solve their own problems without bowing to pressures from foreigners to just go multicultural."

the people urging Korea to take on a strategy for multiculturalism aren't foreigners. They're Koreans from the GNP. You don't have to agree with them, and they're looking at foreign advice and foreign models to chart their own path... but as with any cultural import, the locals get to pick and choose what of the imports they take on, and which they reject. (for example: Starbucks caught on here. Subway didn't. Do Koreans drink starbucks because the american imperialist overlord ordered it? No. They drink starbucks because KOREANS LIKE STARBUCKS.)

Anonymous said...

I’ll try to address points from the top of Roboseyo’s last 4 comments down, sort of:

Roboseyo thinks that the quotes from the article---about how engineers and professionals get along and thrive---help his argument, but all they show is that relatively well-educated people like engineers can handle difficult situations, come up with great ideas and still meet deadlines. No surprise there. This is the kind of diversity where participants are screened for intelligence, creativity, future-time-orientation, quantitative skills and, by default, their absence of violent behavior. It’s no wonder they get along! Meanwhile, everyone outside the ivory tower is voting less, participating less in their communities, trusting each other less, giving to charity less… But the argument is not lost---all we need to do is turn everyone into engineers with IQs of 145 and have their environment be a sterile research facility. Bing, bang, boom!

As for the final third of the article, diversiteers have long hoped to see the happy-clappy multicultural side of the “diversity paradox” reign supreme, though only the negative side has materialized outside of research facilities and offices. Could it have something to do with the fact that there’s a financial incentive for professionals to push through tough differences to make deadlines? Maybe we can just pay everyone to put up with each other!

"Buying Social Capital" by Robert Putnam – Coming Soon!

Putnam, in the final third of the article, proposes fixing pie-in-the-sky social engineering with---you’ll never guess---more pie-in-the-sky social engineering. His idea is for people in diverse societies to wait until all the differences no longer bother them, like getting used to a bad smell, only here it’s a lower quality of life he wants you to get used to before the much promised unicorns and magic lollipops appear. Never is there any thought put toward, um, decreasing diversity, the very cause of the problem.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, the New Creationism.

Like Putnam, Roboseyo suggests we find a better way to facilitate the increased diversification of South Korea, rather than preserve South Korean social capital. This brings me right back to square one: cultural imperialism (a concern that doesn’t seem to bother Roboseyo). Roboseyo thinks South Korea should have to choose to either diversify poorly or to diversify poorly with more social discourse, since we’ve got no real idea how to diversify well. Again, never is there any thought put towards the root of the problem. It’s as if Putnam and Roboseyo think gravity exists only to be defied.

Anonymous said...

Roboseyo helps emphasize one of my points: “do you really think it'll take any less work and cost integrating [the North Koreans] into Korean society, or changing Korean society to accomodate [sic] them? I don't.”

Of course it’s going to be costly for South Korea to integrate 24 million politically-socially-economically repressed North Koreans. I’m suggesting that South Korea not have to deal with diversity on top of the burden of reunification---there’s plenty of work cut out already. The two Koreas’ inevitable reunification can be done in many ways, none of which are paved with roses, but it can be done successfully. On the other hand, diversifying South Korea---which is not inevitable and can be significantly curtailed through the right policies---will be a slam-dunk failure that leads to a lower quality of life the more it increases, much like elsewhere in the world.

I should point out here Roboseyo’s funny contradiction: He thinks that with enough discussion and good social engineering, we can be successful at getting South Koreans to embrace, say, Nigerians and Canadians, but that discussion and social engineering can’t be used to get Koreans to embrace Koreans, despite the common language and thousands of years of history together. I’m smiling right now.

Roboseyo asks: “As for social capital... would you really say that the country featuring mass protests every spring and tear gas in parliament, where Jeolla and Gyeongsan province are dead rivals, that hasn't been able to make peace with its blood brother to the north, is a model of social cohesion to begin with?”

It’s better than skipping out on Election Day to hunker down in front of the television because you feel you can’t affect your diverse society---a stark reality highlighted by Putnam’s research.

Anonymous said...

Roboseyo continues a little later: “Secondly, this STILL doesn't answer the question of what Korea will do about the immigrants and multicultural Korean citizens or residents who already live here, and whose kids will grow up to be an angry underclass if Korea's social system doesn't find a way to assure them they're receiving treatment and access to opportunities that's similar to ‘pure blood’ citizens.”

Welcome to the joys of diversity, Roboseyo! Notice how Putnam’s research is staring us dead in the face? The point I feel I have to make over and over here is that this problem is going to get worse no matter how much we talk it out. Again, the West has been talking itself breathless for decades and still nobody knows what to do or how to do it. Not even Putnam, the Harvard sociologist. All I can tell you is that your best bet for “helping” South Korea’s microscopic non-ethnic Korean population is to organize for equal representation before the law, which is a more tangible, measurable goal than pushing for acceptance in those areas of Korean society outside the ivory tower.

Sucks nobody told us that this is what “Celebrating Diversity” actually looks like.

Roboseyo demands: “Finally, you DO have to define what it means to be ‘Korean’ […]”

When approximately 98.5% of South Korea is comprised of ethnic Koreans, all I can say is that, by default, Korean means Korean, with some flexibility for non-Koreans who are citizens, though that’s really up to the courts to decide, not me.

Roboseyo is skeptical: “and I think North Korean labor is a cop-out argument”

Apparently, Roboseyo thinks I’m hiding something behind the fact (not the hope) that when the two Koreas reunify, there will be a massive surplus of idle North Koreans---many employable, many not. This fact is not pregnant with anything else. I’ll explicitly state again that South Korea should retain as much of its social capital as possible by capping future diversity until that reunification process takes place, lest South Korea spike the ball too soon and saddle itself with a double-whammy of reunification and diversity.

Clear as a pimple.

Roboseyo concludes: “[South Koreans] drink starbucks because KOREANS LIKE STARBUCKS.”

That’s my point, too! High-five! (Though, coffee doesn’t cause people to stay in on Election Day, distrust their neighbors or withhold from charity.) South Koreans should like something before they import it en masse, and the more they know about that import, the better. Are they getting a fair dose of information regarding the West’s travails with diversity?

Roboseyo said...

My last comment for you here, @ViaKorea: thanks to our multiple posting, I doubt anyone's following along anymore anyway.

1. "Roboseyo thinks that the quotes from the article---about how engineers and professionals get along and thrive---help his argument"

They do. The article is not nearly as one-sided as your confirmation bias goggles make it out to be.

2. Explain, please, you you plan to go about decreasing diversity, for those who are already embedded in Korean society. WIthout pogroms and forced ghettoization, that is. And without the North Korean copout.

3. "It’s as if Putnam and Roboseyo think gravity exists only to be defied."

Nope. It's that Korea's already jumped off this ledge, has already spilled that water, has already let that cat out of the bag, and now needs to deal with it, rather than imagine (as you do) that that diversity toothpaste can be squeezed back into the tube.

4. I didn't say I think South Korea CAN'T figure things out with north. Don't misrepresent me. However, it won't be easy, and won't even necessarily be easier than integrating other internationals (who haven't been programmed to hate and mistrust the south for their entire lives)

5. The other problem with looking north for Korea's labor problem: that factory owner needs a laborer NOW, not sometimes between two and eighteen years from now, whenever the regime collapses/reunification happens (IF unification happens. Younger S. Koreans aren't thrilled about that idea). Counting on NK for the future of Korea's economic well-being brings SO many variables and wildcards into a crucial part of national well-being, it would be irresponsible of leaders to vaguely mumble "we're hoping for some stuff with North Korea" when asked what they're doing about the population crisis that's already happening.

Roboseyo said...

6. "Korean means Korean"
This is a meaningless statement. Impossibly vague statements, slogans, and ideas, end up being manipulated by whichever demagogue is best at using loaded language toward their own ends. Think of the Tea Party or the OWS movements: convenient pegs where anybody can hang their own discontent, where there are so many voices offering different explanations of what the movement means, that hte movement has no direction. I'm disappointed that you think it's OK to dodge this absolutely vital question.

Again: North and South Korea both insist they're the "Real" Korea - "Korean" can encompass multitudes... so if you refuse to define "Korean" why don't I submit my own definition, in which Hines Ward and my son get to join the fun. And also those long-term migrant/undocumented workers who are nearly fluent in the language already. I think I will... in the absence of a meaningful OTHER definition. "I know it when I see it." Stop dodging and take responsibility for your assertions by positing a definition for Korean. Or admit that you have no idea what it means, but you just really want to keep disagreeing with me while bandying about undefined terms.

7. Ultimately, we disagree on this most of all:
I think it's already too late for Korea to decide to cap diversity, you don't. The cat's already out of the bag, there are too many foreigners already embedded here. International travel of foreigners AND KOREANS bringing new ideas into Korea, will inevitably change the culture.

8. It won't be foreign western imperialists pushing to change Korea: my voice is too small to bring change about, and as in the dog meat controversy (go look up my piece about that) - when foreign "imperialists" try to force a country's hand, it just as can cause a blowback that accomplishes the opposite. But enough Koreans have lived, visited, or grown up abroad, that Korea will change to resemble other world cultures ON KOREANS' OWN INITIATIVE. If you define imperialism so broadly that a policy by and for Koreans can still be called imperialism, so long as it resembles international norms... I don't know what to say to you. So why don't we add "cultural imperialism" to "Korean" as terms I wish you'd define clearly so we can actually discuss them.

9. "Are they getting a fair dose of information regarding the West’s travails with diversity?"

This story got covered here in Korea, too: great thing about having multilingual Koreans and instant communication is that Korea DOES INDEED have access to everything anybody else knows (or doesn't know) about multiculturalism, while developing Korea's own model for it. Yet KOREANS still choose it. Gotta be a reason for that.

You seem to think that the model of multiculturalism that failed in Europe is the only version going, and the last version which will ever be invented. Which it isn't. And maybe Putnam, or someone after him, will come up with a model of multiculturalism that works better. Hell, it might be a Korean who thinks it up.

Anonymous said...

At Kyunghee University (where I work) all students are required to take two English courses, and they are segregated into "Korean" and "Foreign" classes. Koreans can take the Foreign Students class, and foreign students can take the Korean Students class, but rarely do they cross over. It bothers me, and I'm trying to get it changed. Wish me luck!

- Bryan (your former coworker)