‘Modernization theory’ which was introduced into Korea in the 1960s consists of economic, social, and political dimensions. Based on the position that all societies are able to make the leap to modern society, this theory aimed to seek a universal framework that could be applied to the entire world, regardless of the specific situation of each society. This theory was viral and popular in Korea in the 1960s. This paper deals with the relationship between this theory and studies on Korean history, an area that has not received much attention from scholars. In Korea, modernization theory was widely discussed at two important conferences: the 60th Anniversary of School Founding Conference in Korea University (1965) and Dongguk University (1966). Particularly, several modernization theorists from western societies participated in the international conference at Korea University. Through the diverse exchanges of opinions that took place, the conference illuminated both the common ground and differences between western scholars and their Korean counterparts. After these conferences took place, the theory came to be projected into Korean discourse on periodization in Korean historiography. Debate centered on identifying the impetus of modernization from the viewpoint of Korean history, which would allow a recognition of the internal development of Korean history. In other words, the debate was a internalization of the modernization theory. It is therefore argued that modern Korean historiography can be better understood by examining the close relationship between ‘modernization theory’ and Korean history research.

“1960nyŏndae Han’guk esŏŭi “kŭndaehwaron” suyong kwa Han’guksa insik”[“Modernization Theory” and Korean Historiography in the 1960s: With a Focus on Korea University and Dongguk University Conferences]

Jong-Chol An
2017

Abstract

‘Modernization theory’ which was introduced into Korea in the 1960s consists of economic, social, and political dimensions. Based on the position that all societies are able to make the leap to modern society, this theory aimed to seek a universal framework that could be applied to the entire world, regardless of the specific situation of each society. This theory was viral and popular in Korea in the 1960s. This paper deals with the relationship between this theory and studies on Korean history, an area that has not received much attention from scholars. In Korea, modernization theory was widely discussed at two important conferences: the 60th Anniversary of School Founding Conference in Korea University (1965) and Dongguk University (1966). Particularly, several modernization theorists from western societies participated in the international conference at Korea University. Through the diverse exchanges of opinions that took place, the conference illuminated both the common ground and differences between western scholars and their Korean counterparts. After these conferences took place, the theory came to be projected into Korean discourse on periodization in Korean historiography. Debate centered on identifying the impetus of modernization from the viewpoint of Korean history, which would allow a recognition of the internal development of Korean history. In other words, the debate was a internalization of the modernization theory. It is therefore argued that modern Korean historiography can be better understood by examining the close relationship between ‘modernization theory’ and Korean history research.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3728339
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