In 1977 the prestigious Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, Korea, announced the opening of the first women’s studies program in Asia. Few academic programs have ever received such public attention. In (5) broadcast debates, critics dismissed the program as a betrayal of national identity, an imitation of Westernideas, and a distraction from the real task of national unification and economic development. Even supporters underestimated the program ; they thought it would be (10) merely another of the many Western ideas that had already proved useful in Asian culture, akin to airlines,electricity, and the assembly line. The founders of the program, however, realized that neither view was correct. They had some reservations about the appli(15) cability of Western feminist theories to the role of women in Asia and felt that such theories should be closely examined. Their approach has thus far yielded important critiques of Western theory, informed by the special experience of Asian women.(20)
For instance, like the Western feminist critique of the Freudian model of the human psyche, the Korean critique finds Freudian theory culture-bound, but in ways different from those cited by Western theorists.The Korean theorists claim that Freudian theory (25) assumes the universality of the Western nuclear, male headed family and focuses on the personality formation of the individual, independent of society, An analysis based on such assumptions could be valid for a highly competitive, individualistic society. In the Freudian (30) family drama, family members are assumed to be engaged in a Darwinian struggle against each other father against son and sibling against sibling. Such a concept of projects the competitive model of Westernsociety onto human personalities. But in the Asian (35) concept of personality there is no ideal attached to individualism or to the independent self. The Western model of personality development does not explain major characteristics of the Korean personality, which is social and group-centered. The “self” is a social being defined by (40) and acting in a group, and the well-being of both men and women is determined by the equilibrium of the group, not by individual self-assertion. The ideal is one of interdependency.
In such a context, what is recognized as “depen(45) dency” in Western psychiatric terms is not, in Korean terms, an admission of weakness or failure. All this bears directly on the Asian perception of men’s and women’s psychology because men are also “ dependent”, In Korean culture, men cry and otherwise easily show their (50) emotions, something that might be considered a betrayal of masculinity in Western culture. In the kinship-based society of Korea, four generations may live in the same house, which means that people can be sons and daughters all their lives, whereas in Western culture, the roles of husband and son, wife and daughter, are often incompatible.
1. Which of the following best summarizes the content of the passage?
(A) A critique of a particular women’s studies program
(B) A report of work in social theory done by a particular women’s studies program
(C) An assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of a particular women’s studies program
(D) An analysis of the philosophy underlying women’s studies programs
(E) An abbreviated history of Korean women’s studies programs
2. It can be inferred from the passage that Korean scholars in the field of women’s studies undertook an analysis of Freudian theory as a response to which of the following?
(A) Attacks by critics of the Ewha women’s studies program
(B) The superficiality of earlier critiques of Freudian theory
(C) The popularity of Freud in Korean psychiatric circles
(D) Their desire to encourage Korean scholars to adopt the Freudian model
(E) Their assessment of the relevance and limitations of Western feminist theory with respect to Korean culture...
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