Korea Modernization Theory

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The question regarding Korea’s modernity has resulted in different interpretations of South Korea’s colonial past. Globalization refers to the increasing interconnectedness and integration between international boundaries, which arises from improved transport and communication technology. Globalization facilitates the transfer and sharing of ideologies during the colonial era. This paper will assess the two dominant modes of studying Korea’s colonial history, namely the ‘exploitation theory’ and ‘modernization theory’, and determine the ideal method. Consequently, this paper would come to a conclusion that colonialism accelerated Korea’s modernity as it opened the country’s doors to the positives of foreign influences. When studying Korea’s…show more content…
For a more holistic assessment of Korea’s modernity, we also have to analyze Korea’s social and economic modernity during this period. Henceforth, this alternative viewpoint refers to the ‘modernization theory’. The ‘modernization theory’ challenges the ‘exploitation theory’ as it addresses the impacts which the Japanese occupation had on Korea, namely educational and social aspects. The ‘modernization theory’ assesses historical developments based on facts and data, as opposed from a specific nation’s viewpoint. This theory evaluates exploitation and development without a Manichean concept. The ‘modernization theory’ depicts exploitation and development as two sides of a same coin. This means that they are not mutually exclusive however coexist in a specific…show more content…
However, the ‘modernization theory’ provides a more holistic and impartial study of Korea’s modernity as it based solely on data and statistics, as opposed to a specific nation’s viewpoint. Moreover, the use of ‘exploitation theory’ for analysis, as elaborated earlier, was proved inadequate due to its inability to explain Korea’s post colonial developments. Therefore, using the ‘modernization theory’, colonialism spurred Korea’s modernity as it opened the country’s doors to the benefits of foreign
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