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The Korean Mind: Understanding Contemporary Korean Culture
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The Korean Mind: Understanding Contemporary Korean Culture

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  64 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The Koreans: understanding a people and their culture through key words and language.

Koreans have a unique character and personality that sets them apart from all other Asians. And although Korean attitudes and behavior may be influenced by the modern world, the Korean mindset is still very much shaped by ancient culture and traditions. As is the case with all ancient cult
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Paperback, 480 pages
Published June 10th 2012 by Tuttle Publishing
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Tasha Swinney
Apr 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Meh. This book was organized in a highly illogical way, it repeats itself often, apparently there are spelling mistakes in the Hangul, and although it has good information, it's mostly information that you could find out through other sources in a more enjoyable way. Instead of going from subject to subject, the author wrote short chapters based on important Korean words, and then organized the entries alphabetically. It's a glossary, not a narrative. So you might go from the word Chimsul, Needi ...more
Yingtai
Oh Lord. I said I didn't finish this. I COULDN'T. (1) He has yellow fever in a bad way. And he's kind of creepy like that about the whole culture. All this culture-comparing theorising and condescending apologia. (2) This book is LONG and REPETITIOUS like nobody's business. It's short essays like The Japanese Mind, but ALL OF THEM overlap with ALL OF THEM. It's unbelievable.

Having said that - his approach of identifying themes in the culture is what I go for. And he does cover things pretty comp
...more
Maya
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paperback
I've been picking at this book ever since I got it. The sections are arranged alphabetically and usually only a page or two in length. I've been able to zoom in on some of the concepts that have puzzled me from Korean TV as well as idly pick up and flip to a random section to learn something I haven't encountered yet. I really appreciate this unusual format.
Staci
Feb 13, 2016 rated it liked it
This book has a lot of interesting information in it and could really be informative...except for the way it's structured. Rather than a book of chapters, leading the reader intelligently from one topic to the next this book is structured more like an encyclopedia with everything arranged alphabetically. This means that two topics that seemingly go together like aboji (father) and omoni (mother) are nowhere near each other and you either have to jump all over the book to read about connecting to ...more
Jennifer
Sep 09, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the overview of Korean culture that the book provided. I learned about the historical background of the Korean people and their rough history of being frequently invaded by their neighbors, ancestor worship, family dynamics, etc. However, as mentioned in other reviews, the author frequently misspelled the Korean words (a close Korean friend looked over the book) and frequently repeated topics and facts that had been mentioned previously in the book. While interesting, by the end of the ...more
Anaïs
Jan 05, 2017 rated it liked it
A nice book that has a lot of content on the South Korean culture for a foreigner like me. It is a messy read. There is no order whatsoever, it should be divided topic by topic (would make things easier) The hangul in this book should only be used as a guide and not as a reference because there are mistakes.
Julie
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: korea, read-in-2014, asia
I haven't read the entire book, but the entire free preview on Amazon Kindle.
The book introduces cultural words or phrases, and then explains what they mean, what the historical roots are, and how they have effected Korean culture in the past and in the present.
I found it very insightful and helpful in understanding the Korean people, their history, and their modern culture.
Catarina PBatista
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Extremely helpful if someone wants to know more about Korean culture and mindset and is looking for a guide (of sorts) to help them understand Koreans and why they are who they are!

In my opinion I was looking for a more informal and personal book, but found something very methodical and practical. Still good, but not quite what I was expecting *
Thomas Jung
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Interesting perspective of Korean culture from an non-Korean scholar. Spot on in most aspects, but some exaggerated portions did exist. Overall, it was a great read and I'd highly recommend it if you're looking to dive into Korean culture. I would suggest more references though.
Mairi
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Some interesting points made, but there were too many spelling mistakes (in the hangul).
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Boyé Lafayette De Mente has been involved with Japan, China, Korea and Mexico since the late 1940s as a member of a U.S. intelligence agency, student, journalist, editor and author working out of Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. He is a graduate of Jochi University in Tokyo, and The American Institute for Foreign Trade (in 1953), now Thunderbird School of Global Management, in G ...more
More about Boyé Lafayette de Mente

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“Confucius himself taught that the more laws a society has, the less people will obey them and that societies that depend on laws to control the behavior of their citizens will eventually self-destruct.” 0 likes
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