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The Macksey Journal

Abstract

The research aims to understand how South Koreans at the University of Kansas feel about South Korea’s increase in influence and its effect on the politics of Korean reunification. Previous research often lacked analysis of the cultural and social consequences of unification, and also lacked much qualitative data of the younger generation. My data includes interview transcriptions of South Korean exchange students studying at the University of Kansas. Within the individual interviews, I sought to understand the perspectives of the younger generation of South Koreans ages 18-30, in regards to the policies of Korean reunification and the political connection to South Korea’s global cultural influence. The interviewer asked the students thirty open-ended, discussion questions to gather personal insight into the Korean relationship and discuss the experiences of each interviewee. The long individual interviews sessions uncovered the common trends in rhetoric among the students. The data revealed the younger generations' emotional connection to North Korea, opinions on South Korean President Moon, as well as the thoughts on the policies of Korean reunification. The research will continue to add to the discussions on the socio-economics of the Koreas and the academic dialogue surrounding Korean reunification.

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