Degree Name

BA

Department

Anthropology

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Defense Date

2019-03-08

Publication Date

2019-03-15

First Faculty Advisor

Greg Thompson

First Faculty Reader

Zachary Chase

Honors Coordinator

Charles Nuckolls

Keywords

South Korea, Games, Elementary Education, Social Grouping

Abstract

South Korean culture has always negotiated between hierarchy and egalitarianism, and never more so than in the last seventy years after regaining independence. This thesis examines how a class of first grade students navigate between these two seeming opposites through an analysis of the games they played and how they played them. The competition between the students provides insight into how the games between both friends and non-friends create peer groups of shared interests and values in the class. The varied influences of different games are examined, and two specific cases of games creating organizational change are analyzed. This analysis reveals that the South Korean system of hierarchical egalitarianism is not a spectrum along which students move depending on context, but instead a synthesis of the two value systems which creates a complex social network among student peers.

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