BK21 PLUS program
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Project OverviewEducational Visions and GoalsEducational Strategies for the Achievement of the Visions and Goals
Today’s Korean society is facing multiple social crises. Various social problems born under the new social structure since the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis have become aggravated ever since. Income gaps have consistently widened, insecure labor expanded, and the problems of working poor and new poverty deepened.

These problems in production and distribution structures have been translated into the crisis of lifeworld. Due to the insecurity in job and income, family dissolution continues to rise and the burdens of childrearing and elder care become larger, which are exacerbated by a rapid population aging.

Despite the fact that various crises threatening the sound reproduction of the society, family, and individual happen all at once, Korean politics and civil society do not develop a system of governance that effectively problematizes the crises and generates policy solutions.

In order to fulfill a role of public sociology that actively responds to social problems and demands, our team conducts a project that analyzes the reality of the multiple crises from diverse perspectives, seeking alternatives for sustainable social integration. In specific, we pursue qualitative improvements in and internationalization of research and education in the following fields.

(1) Structures and institutions of production and distribution (work, jobs, and income)
(2) Changes in the reproduction and lifeworld (family, health, and violence)
(3) Problematization of the crises and governance for social integration (political process and civil society)
‘Cooperative and comprehensive approaches to the reality of multiple crises’ is the principle educational philosophy that our team strives to embody in all educational processes with this project. In the midst of current academic trends of interdisciplinarity crisscrossing humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, sociology has shown limitations of not even breaking the boundaries between sub-fields within the discipline.

Our team pursues a cooperative curriculum within the three specialized areas in which relevant faculty members participate, and more broadly, actively seek knowledge sharing and interdisciplinary education crisscrossing the specialized areas. In the process, we aim to develop a new set of approaches to the understanding of occurrences and reproductions of multiple crises and for the generation of alternatives.

For a qualitative improvement in research capacities of our graduate student participants, we support specialized educational programs with a clear vision to foster excellent researchers. In particular, out team aims at:

· Specialized talent
· Interdisciplinary talent
· Creative talent
· Global talent

This vision reflects our goal to nurture next-generation sociologists who are 1) equipped with specialized knowledge and analytic skills for a respective crisis domain, 2) capable of applying comprehensive thinking to interrelations between crisis domains, 3) responsive to social demands by generating realistic and sustainable policy alternatives for crisis resolution, and 4) able to qualitatively improve the crisis management capacity of Korean society with a global-level research and network
Corresponding to the four educational visions that our team aims at, we establish and promote four core educational strategies as below :

Strategy 1 : Education for specialty enhancement by three specialized areas

Seven faculty-member participants in our team organize three research labs working on the three specialized areas – i.e., the structures and institutions of production and distribution, the changes in the reproduction and lifeworld, and the problematization of the crises and governance for social integration – and create a pool of researchers equipped with specialty and analytic skills in each area. With this training system, faculty members with similar research interests promote a specialized curriculum in which students are intensively trained for learning major schools, recent research trends and issues, analytic methods, and strategies for theorization in the respective field.

Strategy 2 : Education for multilevel interdisciplinarity across specialized areas

As in Strategy 1, our team trains students to develop specialty in the three specialized areas but simultaneously promotes multilevel interdisciplinary education that embodies in our curriculum the bottom-up process (specialty knowledge -> general knowledge) and the top-down process (general perspectives -> specialty- based analysis) of the interdisciplinary pyramid, aiming for interdisciplinary knowledge of all areas to be interactively reinforced.

Strategy 3 : Education for the development of creative problem recognition and solutions

Our team not only develops analysis and diagnosis of social crisis but also promotes a talent that creatively explores problem solutions and alternatives. In order to achieve this goal, we actively institute educational programs for creative problem recognition and solutions in our curriculum, fostering capacities for empirically based analysis of crisis and creation of alternatives.

Strategy 4 : Education for the realization of global awareness, research capacity, and career development

Our team, not limited to a short-term goal of publications in internationally renowned academic journals, fundamentally aims to nurture next-generation researchers who possess global knowledge and perspectives, actively participate in international academic networks, and develop their own career path as a global researcher.