Korean Culture Examination of Cultural Term Paper

Pages: 10 (2666 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Women

The intention of the second half of this study is to examine to what extent traditional gender roles are carried over among collegiate female students of Japanese and Korean decent. The aim of this study is to explore to what extent female students exhibit achievement once exposed to a more democratic philosophy and gender equality within the educational system.

The purpose of the field research portion of the study is to examine the extent to which Korean and Japanese culture and family expectation impact female student achievement. This study assumes that the home study environment and parental encouragement may or may not affect the ability of students to achieve.

Hypothesis 1: Achievement among Korean and Japanese female students is affected by familial and cultural influences, and improves once students are not subjected to patriarchal societal norms.

Alternative Hypothesis: Achievement among Korean and Japanese female students is not affected by familial and cultural influences.

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The manner in which this study will be conducted is a qualitative, observational study. The study will take place on campus. I have developed a questionnaire for distribution to three groups of voluntary students, with a minimum of 5 students with a Korean or Japanese background. The research questions will take into consideration what expectations students have of their achievement, and the extent to which they feel that their achievement and outcome is affected by cultural or familial influences. Additionally, observational data was gathered to assess what subject matters students studied.

The primary research questions offered students were as followed:

What is your major?

What is your GPA?

What is your ethnicity/culture?

Do you feel your achievement is affected by familial pressure?

To what extent would you say your culture affects your potential for success?

Term Paper on Korean Culture Examination of Cultural Assignment

Do you intend on pursuing a career or working as a home maker/working in a more traditional capacity?

To what extent do you feel you are influenced by your mother's career role/aspirations?

What percentage of time do you plan on spending caring for your family/filling traditional roles?

Do you plan on staying home after marriage.

The study took place over a two-week time frame where students were provided ample time to fill out and return the questionnaire or answer questions in person via interview.


An informal literature review of academic achievement among westernized Asian-American students supports the notion that once outside of the patriarchal system, Japanese and Korean students have the ability to take on more non-traditional roles and often do so. Braxton (1999) examines the extent to which culture and family impact affect Asian-American student achievement utilizing qualitative methods. There have been numerous studies within the U.S. that affirm the notion that overall minority participation in higher education is on the decline; the exception to this rule however is participation from Asian-American students, which actually is stabilized, and possibly on the increase (Bennett, 1994). There are a number of factors that affect a student's decision to attend college and a student's probability for achievement.

Many studies have identified a relationship between socio-economic level and educational attainment. There are many factors which contribute to drop out rates, however in many instances these do not seem to apply to Asian-American students (Bennett, 1994). Braxton's (1999) study examined the relationship that culture and family have on the prospect of Asian-American students to pursue a collegiate level education. Qualitative examination showed that Asian-American student's achievement was influenced by culture. Culture, values and the mode of functioning in society seemed to be influenced by the student's native Asian culture.

The study also suggested that Asian parents stressed the importance of studying and preparing for the future; many parents created an environment that was conducive to studying, thus a positive response was elicited.

From the questionnaires returned, evidence suggests that students with an Asian-American background do have more familial encouragement and pressure to accomplish and do well in school. Interestingly, the study showed that a majority of females expected to accomplish both traditional roles and career oriented roles. Many had plans to explore demanding careers while still being responsible for a majority of their familial obligations. A majority of the students sampled were taking classes in more difficult subject material as well, including math, sciences and computer sciences. There seems to be some type of cultural pressure related to this factor as well. Interestingly, a majority of the students sampled also acknowledged managing a part time or full time work schedule in addition with completing their courses. One might assume that the time spent working would detract from their studies, but the evidence clearly suggests that this is not the case.

The results of this study indicate that though traditional female roles dominate women's behavior in Japan in Korea, once subjected to more Westernized belief systems and when exposed to a gender equal educational environment, female students tend to take on more non-traditional roles, though they also combine more traditional roles into their overall endeavors. Virtually none of the women responding to the questionnaires indicated a desire to stay home after marriage, suggesting that the roles of women fluctuate once exposure to non-traditional norms becomes available.

The preliminary portion of this study however, suggests that both in Korea and in Japan, the majority of women take on traditional roles. Even those with aspirations to fulfill career endeavors often do not realize these dreams once they become married. This is especially true of women in Japan. There is little evidence to suggest however, that female students are influenced once they move into a more Westernized environment, to take on traditional roles. The familial and cultural pressures felt at home center more around excelling in school and attaining an appropriate education, one that will facilitate an accomplished career.


Acker, S. (1984). "Sociology, gender, and education." In S. Acker, J. megarry, E.Hoyle, & S. Nisbet (Eds.), World Yearbook of Education: Women and Education (pp. 64-78). London: Kogan Page.

Asia Org. (2003). "Women's Contemporary Roles in Korean Society. {Online} Available: http://www.askasia.org/Korea/r15.html

Bennett, Christine. (1995). "Research on racial issues in American higher education." (pp. 663-682). In Handbook of research on multicultural education. New York: Macmillan Publishing, USA.

Braxton, Richard J. "Culture, Family and Chinese and Korean-American Student Achievement: An Examination of Student Factors that Affect Student Outcomes." College Student Journal, Vo. 33, 1999.

Hee, C. & Soh, S. (1993). "Sexual Equality, Male Superiority, and Korean Women in Politics: Changing Gender Relations in a "Patriarchal Democracy." A Journal of Research, Vol. 28.

Park, K.A. (1993). "Women and Development." Comparative Politics, 25 (2), 127-145

Sholomskas, D. & Axelrod, R. (1986). "The influence of mother-daughter relationships on women's sense of self and current role choices." Psychology of Women Quarterly, 10, 171-182

Song, Huynjoo. "The Mother-Daughter Relationship as a Resource for Korean Women's Career Aspirations." Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 2001.

Stromquist, N.P. (1991). "Daring to be different: The choice of nonconventional fields of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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