Social Construction of Self-Identity and Authenticity Among Korean Youth : Focusing on Churched versus Unchurched Protestant Believers
Brinkman, Anna (Sogang University Graduate School)
- 주제(키워드) identity , youth religiosity , authenticity , autonomy , secularization , post-secularism
- 발행기관 Sogang University Graduate School
- 지도교수 Oh Seil, J.S.
- 발행년도 2016
- 학위수여년월 2016. 8
- 학위명 석사
- 학과 및 전공 일반대학원 사회학과
- 실제URI http://www.dcollection.net/handler/sogang/000000060106
- 본문언어 영어
- 저작권 서강대학교 논문은 저작권보호를 받습니다.
- The economic, social, and religious landscape in Korea has undergone rapid change over the 20th century, with the pace of change accelerating significantly in the past decade. As uncertainty pervades every aspect of society, processes of identity formation, conceptions of authenticity, and patterns ...
- The economic, social, and religious landscape in Korea has undergone rapid change over the 20th century, with the pace of change accelerating significantly in the past decade. As uncertainty pervades every aspect of society, processes of identity formation, conceptions of authenticity, and patterns of religious affiliation and commitment are in a state of flux. This phenomenon calls for an exploration of the underlying factors that tie these phenomena together in the lives of Korean youth, the segment of the population experiencing the most extreme instability on both the individual and social level. Existing research fails to integrate patterns of Korean youth religiosity with the issues of self-identity construction, authenticity, and conflict between secular and religious values that characterize society in late modernity. In particular, there is a need for exploration of how Korean youth strive to resolve contradictions and uncertainties inherent in modern life through a sense of wholeness of self, the perceived authenticity of their religious beliefs and practice, and the application of potentially contradictory values to their own lives. This research explores how the religious self-identity construction of Protestant Korean youth impacts their integration of secular and religious values in the context of their pursuit of personal authenticity – specifically addressing differing self-identity construction among the churched and unchurched, embedded versus unembedded manifestations of authenticity, and the ongoing struggle and tension between religious and secular values. The first section examines young people’s shift from the conforming self-identity of their childhood to either an “autonomous” or “responsible” religious self-identity, characterized by key differences in how they position the self in relation to transcendent spiritual and tangible social entities. The second section addresses how the autonomous and responsible types of self-identity offer young people an embedded versus unembedded sense of authenticity in terms of their relations with God and with others, and how these types of self-identity lead to differing reactions to the problem of inauthenticity within the religious community. The third section analyzes how these differing constructions of self-identity are manifested in young people’s incorporation of religious and secular values into their lives, and how these values impact their views of social involvement and communal participation. The findings of this study categorize participants into two broad groups. The first group is characterized by an autonomous self-identity, unembedded sense of authenticity, and unchurched lifestyle in which secular and religious values are compartmentalized and applied selectively. The second group is characterized by a responsible self-identity, embedded sense of authenticity, and churched lifestyle in which they struggle to integrate secular and religious values within the whole of their life-world. This study emphasizes that while significant differences exist between these two groups, their differences arise as they follow different paths aimed towards seeking meaning and building life narratives – both groups striving towards authenticity of the self and satisfactory integration of religious and secular values. One group chose a transcendent, relational path aiming for the “ultimate significance of life,” while the other group chose an individualistic path to fulfillment firmly rooted in the immanent frame. This research lays the groundwork for future research delving deeper into the core issues of self experienced by Korean youth in the late modern post-secular climate, and further exploration of the role that perceptions of authenticity plays in individual believers’ participation in religious practices and community.