Summer 2018 – Korea Sociocultural Field School


Directed by Dr. Gregory Thompson. 18 students examined South Korea's conceptions of North Korea, South Korean identity and multiculturalism and ethnonationalism in South Korean schools.


All 18 of the Korea Field School students had the time of their lives conducting ethnographic research in Seoul, South Korea. The students researched various aspects of Korean culture, which included diverse topics such as food, education, beauty, fashion, national identity, tourism, the influences of Chinese and African culture in Korea, traditional dance and more.

Most of these students are studying sociocultural anthropology, but other students’ backgrounds in sociology, design, Asian studies, statistics, music and dance have “added color to our ragtag group of lovable misfits” (as described by Jessica Ellis, the students’ “Research Mentor Extraordinaire”).


"We have had the opportunity to tour a number of historic sites and museums throughout Seoul, led by knowledgeable native experts,” Ellyn Cardon, BYU student, said. “We also had the opportunity to travel south to Haeinsa, where we visited a historic Buddhist temple. We stayed overnight at the temple and woke up at 4am to listen to drums and Buddhist chanting before performing 108 prostrations of gratitude and repentance and then meditating in a beautifully decorated building in the temple. Later that day we went on to Gyeongju, a city which was the capital of the Silla Dynasty and has many historic sites that are over 1000 years old, including numerous burial mounds of Silla kings dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries," The field school has been an amazing experience and 18 out of 18 students would do it again in a heartbeat.