Historical Social Research 44(4) – Forum: Social Integration or Mind Integration? An Alternative Approach for the Unification of Divided Systems
Eun-Jeung Lee & Woo-Young Lee (eds.)
News vom 23.11.2019
Introduction - The Issue of Mind Integration in the Unification of Divided Systems: A Case Study Focused on Germany and the Two Koreas.
In this article, we introduce the HSR Forum on mind integration by exploring how the future integration process on the Korean Peninsula will come about, focusing on the East German regime’s transition process. We conceptualize “mind” as a concept that is made up of emotions, sentiments, the will and the senses thus the mind system is the foundation that makes up the dispositions and behaviors of people from both North and South Korea. This article argues for the importance of questioning the general stereotypes that frame integration such as the unification of political systems, as well as provides an alternative approach by thickening the discussion on the so-cial/cultural integration. On this basis, we distinguish four contextual dimensions: first, to identify the intractable conflicts on the Korean Peninsula with incongruity of national and political identities; second, to analyze the attitudes of South Koreans toward inter-Korean integration; third, to understand the differences in perception between South Korean migrants in Germany and South Koreans; and finally, to investigate North Korean defectors’ view on the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK).