Saturday, November 05, 2005

군대 / We're in the army now

I've officially been on holiday since Wednesday. So for the last few days I've had the time to flick through the pages of my Korean newspaper of choice, the Hankyoreh. I've especially been following an intelligent four-part special report on the socio-psychological effects military service (2 years; compulsory) has on Korea's young men.

‘군대를 갔다 와야 사람 된다’는 말이 있다. 과연 군대는 우리나라 젊은 남자를 어떻게 변화시킬까?

실제 조사를 해 보니 군대는 이들을 더욱 보수적으로 만들고 가부장적인 사고방식을 강화하는 데 영향을 주는 것으로 드러났다. <한겨레>는 임상심리학연구소 ‘더 트리그룹 리서치클리닉’(대표 조용범)과 함께 군대 경험이 심리·사회적 영역에서 한국 남자에게 어떤 영향을 끼치는지를 분석하고자 최근 두 달 동안 20대 남성 240명을 대상으로 다양한 심리검사를 벌였다. 이런 경험과학적 연구방법을 통한 조사는 우리나라에서 처음이다.

There's a saying that, "Going to the army makes you a man." In reality, how does military service affect the young men of Korea?

In fact, upon investigation it has been found that the effects of the army are that it makes them all the more conservative and intensifies patriarchal views. For the last two months the Hankyoreh, with the co-operation of a research centre for clincal psychology, The Tree Group Research Clinic, has embarked on a socio-psychological examination of 240 men in their 20s, for the purposes of analysis, on the influences the military service experience imparts on Korean men. This investigation is the first in Korea to address this experience using scientific methods of enquiry.
For anyone interested, the above extract is from the first article of the report "The Army makes (Conformist and Patriarchal) Men", and today's piece "the experts talk" was a solid summary:
권인숙 명지대 교수(여성학) ‘대한민국은 군대다’ 저자
“군기 때문에 인권침해 안돼…성희롱 ‘왜’ 안되는지 이해시켜야”

조용범 박사(임상심리학) 더 트리그룹 리서치클리닉 대표
“조직에 순응 ‘단지 귀찮아서’…지적욕구 저하는 국가적 손해”

정곤양 대령 국방부 인사근무과장
“제대뒤 원만해지고 EQ(감성지수) 높아져…민간협력으로 문제 풀 것”

Kwon In-suk, professor of Gender Studies at Myeongji University and author of 'Korea is an Army': "We must not allow human rights infringements for the sake of military discipline ... must make it clear why sexual harassment is wrong"

Dr. Jong Yong-beom, clinical psychologist and representative of The Tree Group Clinic: "They conform in organisations 'only because it's a hassle' ... that intellectual appetites fall is a national loss"

Colonel Jeong Gon-yang, head of personnel at the Ministry of Defence: "After being discharged they are more well-rounded and their EQ is higher ... we'll sort out the problems through civilian co-operation"
Hmm, for some reason I prefer this stuff to the slushy Korean pop and sleep-inducing business news in the Korea TimesHerald.

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