South Korean society underwent rapid industrialization and urbanization in the 1970s and 80s. During the period of rapid economic development, many believed that if they worked hard and spent little, they would be prosperous. As a matter of fact, to mobilize people for state-led economic development, the South Korean state constantly invoked the utilitarian ideology that emphasized the values of usefulness, productivity, and efficiency. However, quite a few literary texts and movies from 1970s and 80s South Korea show how much oppressive and exploitative such a society could be. In order to comprehend the complexity of the problem of utility and such related issues as labor, violence, and democracy, and understand the historical context, students are required to read works in critical theory and excerpts from a Korean history textbook as well as literary texts. All readings are in English.
In the writing assignment, you present a question about reading materials assigned for each class session. Imagine you are coming up with a question with which you will test your students to find out how much they understand the assigned reading materials. In addition to presenting a question, you are also required to provide an explanation for the reason why you think the question is significant. When more than one reading material are assigned, you should formulate a question in the way in which it addresses the main points of all the reading materials. You are expected to prove that you have read and thought about them.