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∙ Current position: Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher, Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki
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Friday, March 11, 2005

Sanghwal (商活)

An important part in raising the social consciousness of university students at least since the 1980s has been the so-called nonghwal, shortened from nongch'on hwaltong, "agricultural village service", in which students go to villages to learn about real life, real work, and authentic Koreanness, while raising the political and social consciousness of the farmers.

I propose a new scheme: sanghwal (商活), short of... sangôp hwaltong, in which students would toil with keepers of small businesses to learn what it is to worry about the income, about the education of children when the mother needs to be tending the shop, about staying at the shop for the most of the waking hours.

But actually the life of a small business keeper should be more familiar to students than that of a farmer, as the former are so much more numerous than the latter. The sanghwal would be an alternative for students from professional or salaried middle-class homes.

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