Being competent about diversity can be stressful for a Social Work major, but taking an anthropology class about a certain society doesn’t really give access into the different aspects of a another world. It’s hard to understand the minds of the people in a society without living among the locals. Remember that no problem or idea is simple. Everything within a society is interconnected with something else.
But too often it is easy to scoff at ways in which we aren’t familiar with and don’t understand. Take for example, the grueling Korean high schools where kids are expected to attend school from early in the morning to late at night. From an American standpoint this may seem cruel and unusual as well as child abuse.
Look at it through a Korean standpoint and we can see that the Koreans feel that education is a privilege not a right. Students need to work hard if they want to obtain their goals. It is important to also note that South Korea still remembers the images of a desolate country after the Korean war – which was just 50 short years ago.
It doesn’t matter who is right in such issues. As a social worker, our job is to be aware of these circumstances and to understand and create the best plan to help the client. After all, the best client/social worker relationships rely on trust and communication.
With that being said, I have compared and contrasted some things about the U.S. and South Korea through my eyes, to get a better understanding of the society.
Fines will be given to those who don’t comply
In the dorms, there is this system where you take out a card when you are out of the room to shut off all the electricity
Homogenous mix of people
Foreigners are easily spotted
School children are known to say “hi” to foreigners as they have never seen one before