Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Privilege and Complaint

I know I can sound difficult, mean even, when addressing issues I care deeply about. In my defense, I do believe I live in a community--the expat community in Korea--that takes its privileges for granted, that believes it has earned its status on its own, that wants freedoms and liberties it doesn't necessarily care that other communities have, that feels its free will expressed in written and verbal discourse is the sine qua non of public discourse.

All of that is complex. The simple fact of the matter is that nobody can expect much change to occur without first coming to terms with our status quo. That many of my peers--native speaking English teachers, in this case--are unable to discuss this basic problem of organizing to promote useful change is all too clear. Look at the public writing about teaching in Korea, subtract from the list the useful practical teaching blogs, and you're left with two kinds of discourse: tourism and complaint.

I'm not very optimistic about these authors being able to organize much more than a web site that lists information already available nor to organize much more than a group of their close friends to meet from time to time to complain about problems, to publish lists of demands.


Pree-oz said...


It's definitely from a position of privilege, and a clearly western position in an eastern coutnry. I have my complaints. I believe in justice. I feel the Korean system can be backwards. But setting up an informational system is different from "organizing." I think expats can do the same thing that he is asking with the "travel agency"problem. Let's make a flow chart with what travel agencies provide the best prices.

Pree-oz said...

I'm all over your blog today!

Gary Norris said...

it is a business model, right? not a plan to unite a minority community in an attempt to help the great community work better for everybody.