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Foreign English Instructors and Orientalism: A Case Study of English Instructors in Jeonju, Korea
Kim Ji Hye

Vol.3, pp.131 – 175, 2019


Abstract
This research examines the ways in which the ideas and mechanism of Orientalism are expressed and utilized by Western English instructors in Jeonju. Through critical and experiential analysis, I explore Edward Said’s discourse on Orientalism, the most influential argument to date regarding the relationship between the East and West. This study is divided into three parts. First, I investigate English instructors’ notions of the East before their move to South Korea. Second, I explore the changes in their notions after living in South Korea for a time. Lastly, I examine the way in which the ideas of Orientalism are utilized by the instructors. I conclude that even today, English instructors in South Korea are bound by the pervading notion of Orientalism. Even so, they are not consciously aware of the concept nor are their daily actions deliberately informed by it. Yet, they experience changes in Orientalism in unfamiliar situations and strategically utilize its ideas to maintain their identity and resolve conflict. In other words, Orientalism doesn’t operate as a fixed system that constantly buoys Eurocentric notions; it is flexible and dynamic as its influence weakens or strengthens depending on context.
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