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ISSN : 2384-0668(Print)
ISSN : 2384-0692(Online)
S/N Korean Humanities Vol.2 No.1 pp.105-121

Post-unification Inter-Korean Intercultural Communication: Examining the Impact of History Education on New Identity Formation*

Wonjung Min
Pontifical Catholic University of Chile


How will the reunification of Korea impact the population and enable them to confront their history and recognize themselves as citizens of a new Unified Korea? As cultural identity is ubiquitous in intercultural communication and across social science disciplines, this study seeks to analyze the formation of different identities in both North Korea and South Korea during the almost 70 years of division. This analysis will focus on the distinct interpretations of three major topics by both Koreas: 1) Korean Mythology, specifically, the Myth of Dangun, 2) the Perceived Meaning of Independence, and 3) the Korean War-comparisons which have been ignored by most of the research to date related to the Korean Peninsula.
Intercultural communication attempts to establish reciprocity through the exchange of information and values between parties hitherto unknown to each other. In this process, it is vital to examine which historical elements of the Koreas that can be employed to reduce nationalistic and ethnocentric views and stereotypes, to develop mutual positive perceptions, to promote reconciliation, and to facilitate conflict resolution and form common regional perspectives. This study will focus on ideology, individual identity and intercultural communication to analyze the current relationship between the history education and social identity formation of both Koreas. As such, it will examine how each social identity formation can provide narratives about the transformation of former enemy groups from enmity to being considered members of the same society. Korostelina describes North Korean history education as an example of the impact that history textbooks can have on the formation of an ideological mode of national identity. What have others said about the impact of Korean history textbooks on the above mentioned topics?