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Title: Community empowerment in South Korea : towards developing a local model for practice
Author: Yang, Man-Jae
ISNI:       0000 0004 2703 4251
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2011
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This study aims to explore community empowerment practice (CEP) in South Korea (SK) and develop a Korean model of CEP. To begin, I describe key contexts of Korean society such as political, economical and cultural backgrounds alongside the history of Korean community work. To achieve the objectives of this thesis, I studied the CEP project for three years from 2003 to 2005. At the same time, I collected qualitative data from 10 participants who were involved in the CEP. I analysed the Korean CEP in terms of a modified Western model of CEP formed by reviewing Western models and ideas of CEP. The analysis revealed: i) the lack of knowledge, values, skills and organisation needed to practice community empowerment in Korea; ii) ways of overcoming some limitations of traditional Korean community work skills in the areas of developing community profiles, community organising, learning from practice, networking, and encouraging resident participation; iii) engaging with differences in practice between community welfare centres (CWCs) and the centres of NGOs that prioritise welfare activities for poor people (WNGOs), e.g., in the fields of community organising, networking and participation; and iv) the lack of positive outcomes in building rights-based and equality-oriented community work to reduce power differences between residents and agencies/ power holders. The proposals for developing a Korean model of CEP include: i) creating an independent organisation that can support knowledge and education as well as play a meditating role in assisting with the acquisition of resources and involvement in political activities; ii) setting strategic directions for the step-by-step changes needed to transfer from working within a traditional Korean model of community work to ‘emancipatory CEP’ by combining both technicist practice and transformative practice; iii) building alliances between CWCs and WNGOs alongside other organisations that are concerned with social justice and equality, while also developing capacity and skills to addresses the weaknesses of both CWCs and WNGOs; and iv) enhancing practitioners capacity and skills to engage not only with policy makers and politicians, but also in collective action together with local people to transform oppressive structures that constrain residents’ rights and equality. This study also demonstrates that community empowerment practice possible in a wide variety of controls and contexts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available