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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The identity and role of highly educated women in contemporary Korean society
by Chun, Hyunjin, Ph.D., Biola University, 2012, 136; 3557541
Abstract (Summary)

To live in contemporary Korean society as a Highly Educated Woman has multiple meanings. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the HEKW's identity and explore their identity construction process from a holistic perspective.

Data were collected through in-depth interviews, which gave participants voice by allowing the opportunity to tell their stories. The study revealed that HEKW discover and confirm their identity by balancing and harmonizing actualization of their Personal Aspiration (PA) and fulfillment of Social Expectations (SE).

When society's needs harmonize with the "real me," HEKW experience well-being and security in their identity. Moreover, this dynamic identity construction process continues until reaching the "transformed-contribution stage," in which HEKW actualize their PA by contributing to society's well-being. Nevertheless, this is not the end. HEKW's identity continues to develop as they engage in their context of choice.

Based on the research findings this study's implications touched on: (a) Adult identity construction, (b) Koreans' global role, (c) Education and identity, (d) Character development education—from feminine virtues (care, relatedness) to universal virtues, (e) The need for community, (f) Life-long learning, and (g) Social participation.

Recommended topics for further research included: (a) the role of marital status in identity construction, (b) the effect of socio-cultural context on identity construction, and (c) the role of religion in gendered identity construction and confirmation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Starcher, Richard L.
Commitee: Hayward, Douglas, McEwen, Rhonda M.
School: Biola University
Department: Cook School of Intercultural Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 74/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational sociology, Asian Studies, Womens studies
Keywords: Higher education, Identity, Identity development, Korea, Life-long education, Women's studies
Publication Number: 3557541
ISBN: 978-1-303-00700-2
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