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  • ISSN 2508-8297 (Print)
  • ISSN 2671-7123 (Online)
The Philosophy of Equality in Age Groups: Gapjang of Jeju Island
Kim Changmin

Vol.5, pp.31 – 52, 2021


Abstract
This article aims to understand the cultural meaning of the gapjang age groups of Jeju Island. A gapjang relationship is a relationship between people of the same age, but it carries a significance beyond the merely biological fact of common age. Gapjang is understood also as a social relationship based on the shared factors of having been born in the same village and sharing experiences while growing up. The gapjang relationship in Jeju is an intimate friendship based on regionalism; that is, being born and growing up in the same village. The philosophy of equality is a distinctive feature of gapjang relationships and gapjang-gye, gapjang-based rotating savings and credit associations. Gapjang do not recognize differences in economic and social standing among themselves. Any breach of the principle of equality among gapjang can spur conflict. This kind of interpersonal relationship can be found broadly in Jeju culture. In short, the philosophy of equality apparent in gapjang relationships is a general principle of Jeju culture.
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