Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Paper Project

I am working on an ethnography about Korean culture using the 'participant observation' research technique to gather data. I have been attending a language club that meets once a week. As I study Korean and help others with English, I try to determine what people's goals are and what motivates them.
Initially my literature review was an examination of intrinsic motivation vs. extrinsic motivation. It looked at what kind of rewards were best at motivating people. The paper concluded that positive feedback was the best way to intrinsically motivate people.
Does that literature review fit with my current research? It does so very loosely so it would not be the best thing to use it. I think it would make a paper with not much depth.
Currently my theme is "Why are Koreans so driven?" I could say, "Why are people so driven?" Or I could say, "Why am I so lazy?" since everyone else seems to be more driven than I am.
Professor Reynolds has been having us do a free writing exercise at the beginning of class where we write for 3 minutes. I used that technique to come up with the following. Go!
Today Koreans are driven because their ancestors gave up nomadic tendencies. They settled and domesticated plants and animals. The settled life led to culture. Culture over a long period of time involving a lot of people led to the revering of education. A highly educated society that did not have the most up-to-date technology was nonetheless able to adapt to the modern world very quickly because the educational system merely had to change focus. The strong education foundation had been in place from long ago.
The modern economic miracle that Korea came to be came about because the United States and other countries provided a lot of foreign investment. Korea had access to the largest markets in the world due to its proximity to China and Japan. It also had access to the market in the United States due to its close relationship.
Now Koreans are driven to enter the highly educated, highly skilled job market of a mature economy because of their long tradition of revering education. There is a limited number of good paying manufacturing jobs so that is not a viable option for a highly educated Korean. Also, a low paying job in the service sector is not a viable option for a highly educated Korean.
So why are Koreans highly motivated and driven to succeed?
The country has a large population with a static living location with a long history that is located in a very strategic area.
This would contrast with Mongolia (sorry Mongolia) that has a relatively small population that migrates in some cases in a country that is land locked and a less revered educational system.
What are the characteristics of someone who is intrinsically motivated to learn another language? They are ambitious, sensitive, empathetic, motivated to seek higher degrees and find a better job.
The language club that I attend is a social club with an international feel. But the over riding message that I come away from the club with is that 'Koreans are driven.'
So if I pursue this theory, "Koreans are driven" and I use the research question "Why are Koreans driven?" then I need to create a literature review that supports that. I need to find articles that examine this phenomenon. Can anybody help me? I need to find articles that are related to this theme.
Related to this.
Why are Koreans so driven? That is a question that I will attempt to answer. It is a complex question but there must be a reason that Korean society is so driven. Korea has harsh winters. In ancient times and today, Koreans would grow cabbage and radish and hot peppers in the summertime. In order to have food in the winter time, the Koreans would submerge the cabbage in crushed hot peppers in order to preserve it. This created what they call kimchi. They would also submerge the radish in hot pepper sauce in order to preserve it as a winter vegetable. In order to have enough food to survive the winter, they had to work hard in the summer time. Did this time honored practice create a very driven society? I have heard people say that some people in Thailand are lazy because there is no incentive to work. It is always warm so there is always food. There is nothing pressing to be done in order to survive. A person can just soak up the sun and be happy. In general, the people of Thailand are said to be some of the happiest and least motivated people in the world. Is there any merit to these generalizations?

1 comment: