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북한 사람의 인격구조

Other Titles
 Personality Structure of North Koreans 
 Korean Unification Studies (통일연구), Vol.5(2) : 5-46, 2001 
Journal Title
 Korean Unification Studies (통일연구) 
Issue Date
In spite of a common cultural heritage, different, even contrasting social systems have developed in North and South Korea over the last 50 years since it was divided as a result of different ideologies. Since the Korean war, there has been essentially no communication between the people of the two countries. As a result, North Korea has developed into an authoritative strictly controlling and dogmatic communist society. The culture in North Korea has become quite different from that of South Korea, which like the North, has an agricultural heritage but has developed into a free, industrialized and democratic country. Accordingly, it is natural to think that unique personalities have been shaped through life experiences from childhood to adulthood in the two different cultures. These psychological differences may be found among defectors from North Korea and their adaptation problems in South Korean society may reflect these psychological differences barriers and conflicts that a future unified society of the two Koreas may have to deal with. Recently, the number of defectors from North Korea have increased, and currently exceeds 1,000. The issues related to a defectors` life in South Korea are considered to be very important, because ① living together with North Koreans in South Korea means that the unification process is already happening, ② they are creating preliminary conditions to a future unified society, and ③ South Koreans experiences with North Korean defectors will determine the attitudes of South Koreans for a future unified society. With this background, the authors have conducted studies on defectors and their adaptation in South Korean society. In this presentation, the results of these studies on the experiences in interpersonal relationships of protecting policemen and NGO volunteer helpers with the defectors are analysed. In addition, studies on the life and development of adolescents in North Korea is presented. Furthermore, a review on the personality characteristics of South Koreans, which have been shaped during same period of turbulence, is provided. Based on these studies, a typical personality profile and the emotional and behavioral patterns of North Koreans will be speculated. Briefly, North Koreans appear to be simple, innocent, rigid, and dogmatic. They lack general information on the outside world and religion, have a poor ability for handling money, are inhibited, self-controlling, splitting objects, altruistic and are group-oriented. In contrast, typical South Koreans appear to be dynamic, out-going, expressive, self-assertive, hard working, competitive and individualistic. Before there is mutual understanding, these differences are thought to cause conflict, or even culture shock when the two peoples meet and live together in a the same society. As an example, because of the lack of skills and general information on a free and competitive society, defectors from North Korea have difficulties in securing jobs and consequently feel inferior and discriminated. Their high expectation for government or social organizations to assist them, which they used to be familiar with, is often not met. Their inhibited emotional reactions tend to be easily expressed impulsively and a tendency toward mistrust and splitting have been used to create difficulties in interpersonal relationship with South Koreans. These studies also suggest that defectors have suffered from various adaptation problems in the free but competitive capitalistic society of South Korea. Their problems are thought to be related in part to cultural differences, and to their characteristic personality and behavioral and emotional patterns, which had been developed and shaped through their previous childhood experiences and education in North Korea The following discussion will focus on predicted conflicts and barriers to unification process, or even culture shock when two people meet during the process of unification. How to resolve or overcome these conflicts and barriers will be essential for the successful, peaceful and final unification of the two Koreas.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Psychiatry (정신과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Min, Sung Kil(민성길)
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