La Copa del Mundo Anuncia una Nueva Corea

La euforia que tienen los fanáticos de un equipo que gana un evento deportivo de gran escala es efímera. Pero, algunos prominentes profesores de las universidades coreanas me han dicho que el éxito sin precedentes que ha tenido el equipo coreano en la actual Copa del Mundo de fútbol está generando una desviación en las actitudes que los coreanos tienen hacia su propia sociedad y economía. ¿Por qué?

Muchos coreanos, especialmente aquellos que estudiaron y vivieron en Occidente, se quejan acerca del "amiguismo" y de la resultante importancia de las "conexiones" en todos los renglones de la vida coreana, cuestiones que consideran como características dominantes de la sociedad de su país. Ellos dicen que un amiguismo tan rampante está impidiendo que Corea alcance económicamente a Occidente, a pesar del hecho de que Corea pronto tendrá tanto capital humano como los países occidentales.

Para entender el amiguismo coreano tenemos que verlo como un aspecto de un grupo de convenciones sociales establecidas relacionadas entre sí. Los coreanos aceptan una noción de saber el lugar propio en la sociedad que resulta extrema a los ojos de los estadounidenses. En la interacción social, y también en los negocios, los coreanos mantienen una jerarquía que parece valorar más la edad que el desempeño.

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