Buy Used
$4.00
Condition: :
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it is still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Culture Shock! Korea Paperback – March 28, 2004


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback, March 28, 2004
$2.86 $0.01
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company; Rev Exp edition (March 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558686215
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558686212
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,890,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Newly updated and redesigned in 2005! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Hur completed her B.A. in Sociology at St. Olaf College, she later went on to complete an M.A. in Social Work at the University of Chicago.


Hur completed his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. Ben teaches speech communication and is a consultant in intercultural communication.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Less High Fructose on December 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
I read this entire book prior to going to Korea in Nov 2002, and it was very good preparation for a very different culture, one that I already thought I knew pretty well. On the other hand, it did little to prepare me for the fact that a major cultural shift is occurring in Korea, with modern Korea blending western and eastern cultures. For example, respect of elders is still a (very nice) part of the culture, while knowledge of English and western pop culture is much more common among the younger folk. Even the "outdated" information in this book gives insight on today's customs, which seem to be evolving on a year-to-year basis; thus, I forgive this book for not being really current, or the authors omission of the culture of the younger generation. Yes, some sections were too outdated, silly, and based on uncommon experiences (see the cute 'cultural quiz' in the back), but I think it's probably the best book out there regarding the 'culture shock' you will experience.
Things that need to be included: A better understanding of the agrarian history of Korea will prepare one for the sights of cabbage and rice fields interspersed within the city, and the fact that bul-go-gi or kal-bi (bbq beef) is much more expensive than your typical vegetable dish. There should be more useful expressions in the back of the book. For example, here is a typical conversation: "Hello. Where is the bathroom? I don't speak Korean. Do you speak English? Thank you." The Olympics 1988 and World Cup 2002 have made the cities much more tourist- and western- friendly. However, there are negative views towards the American presence, especially since there have been some highly publicized tragedies involving the US military recently. Tap water quality (applying western standards) has improved greatly in the major cities, but still remains an issue in the rural areas. You need to combine this book with an updated travel guide (and more knowledge of current events) for the best preparation.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Yeschef on November 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this book before moving to Korea. The book prepared me for SOME of the differences between Koreans and Westerners, but some of the information was extremely outdated. The book is good for people to get a general idea of the culture in Korea, but Culture Shock!: Korea, needs to be updated. Most of the information on the relationships between men and women in Korea is just plain wrong.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Grabon on March 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
As other reviewers have mentioned, some of the information in this book is dated-- but these days that's almost impossible to avoid. Society is currently changing so rapidly in Korea that even something written a year ago would be outdated now. Also, many of the customs and rules listed are still applicable but not quite as important as the book suggests. Nevertheless, this book should still be required reading before ANY trip to Korea, short- or long-term. It'll give you a much better perspective on where Korean culture has been and where it's going now. Once you arrive you may find yourself overprepared with this book-- but that's much better than the other way around.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By James R. Holland VINE VOICE on March 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have a lot of Korean friends and I wanted to better understand them so my search for a more knowledge of their culture led me to this book. I was fascinated by it. However, since my copy of the book was last revised in 2000 I wondered if some of the material might be out of date. Some of it didn't seem to agree with the images shown in most Korean television soap operas and popular music shows I also watch. After finishing the book I decided to ask some of my Korean friends if the material I had questions about was indeed out of date. One such question was whether most of South Korea still has public restrooms shared by men and women at the same time. The book said women walk nonchalantly past the backs of men using the urinals on their way to use a stall with a door. Once inside a public restroom's bathroom stall there will often be no toilet, simply a hole in the tile floor over which to squat like I've often found in Paris and other regions of France.
I asked several of my Korean friends and was surprised to learn that the book is perfectly accurate on both those facts. Other of my doubts included the almost universal adherence to Korean shaman fortunetellers (Mudands) and their advice (kuts and kosas). And the fact that most dining is done in near silence with everyone paying close attention to just eating and not talking. That's still very much the case according to my friends from South Korea. Heavy drinking is also a universal fact among Korean men. It's part of all social and business dealings.
That said I found this book very, very helpful. It was more helpful than a couple of the travel guides I own that are more recent because it goes into depth about why things are done the way they are in modern Korea.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "smilesalot77" on November 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book answers many common questions about Korean culture. With humor, insight, and understanding, it explains why Koreans do the things they do, especially those things that boggle foreigners staying in Korea (the scoop on personal space, ettiquette with strangers, formal language, work relationships, etc.).
It is, understandibly, OUTDATED. (I believe there is an updated version available, which I haven't read yet.) Read it anyway, if you are going to Korea. You will be prepared for the cultural conflicts you run into; You just might not run into as many differences as the book lead you to expect.
Highly recommended!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Sonja Vegdahl was born in Northfield, Minnesota. She graduated from South Mountain High School in Phoenix, Arizona, and graduated from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. In 1981 she earned her masters in social work from the University of Chicago. She worked with homeless youth for a year before moving to Korea for seven years. In Korea she taught English at Sogang University and wrote an English language television shows. She returned to the U.S. in 1989 where she practiced clinical social work in Michigan. In 1994 she moved to Portland, Oregon, and has continued to direct the Social Work Program at Concordia University. She obtained her PhD in social work and social research in 2002.