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Language and Culture in Everyday Life

Course Title: Language and Culture in Everyday Life: Korean Discourse as a Window Into Culture, Perception, Cognition, Identity, and Taste

Course Number: KOR 498 (PSU), KOR 5380 (OSU), KOR 291 (MSU)

Times: T/TH 10:15-11:30 (CT) 11:15-12:30 (ET)

Instructor: Susan Strauss /

Hosting University: Penn State University

Description: In this course, we will study the interrelationships between culture, language, and worldview-with a specific focus on Korea and Koreans (living in Korea and abroad).  Through research, theory, videos, printed matter, and music, we will investigate:

  • How language shapes, creates, and is created by behaviors, expectations, orientations, perceptions, and practices
  • How language shapes ways of viewing time, space, identities, nation, belonging, exclusion, opinion, even sensory perception-focusing on such issues as:
  • Family - structure, kinship, children, the elderly
  • Food - taste, presentation; noodle/rice culture
  • Politeness (e.g., face, directness, honorifics)
  • Identity (e.g., national identity, gender identity)
  • Advertising - electronics, food and beverages, fashion
  • Media and Entertainment - Korean Wave, K Drama, K-Pop

No prior knowledge of Korean is required.

Participating Universities: Ohio State University, Michigan State University

Academic Calendar: Unless specified by the course instructor, the course will follow the host campus’ academic calendar.