Social Anthropology

Essay by cruzalex80College, UndergraduateA+, November 2014

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Social Anthropology: Conflicts of Changing Culture in South Korea

Alex Cruz

2000 ANT

Professor Spottke


Cruz 1

Within the last decade, South Korea has made rapid changes of its society from its recent popularity. There is an increase of pressure of social acceptance within the communities concerning the standards of beauty and a successful business life. The conflicting idea of achieving the 'perfect' life is causing many of its citizens to make unfortunate decisions.

When it comes to the ideas of beauty, most countries such as, the U.S and Brazil, find that cosmetic surgery is the way to attain beauty. Until now, Brazil was the leading country with the highest cosmetic surgery rates, but now it has fallen under South Korea. Korean citizens, have accepted the idea that beauty will bring success. Mainly the females are going under the knife to become 'beautiful'.

One in five women from the ages 19 to 49 have had cosmetic surgery according to a 2009 survey from Trend Monitor.

These women are often pressured to undergo surgery from bullying and their Mother's persuasion. Cosmetic surgeons are revealing a growing trend of mother's bringing their child in for surgery and is willing to pay for it.

There are two common surgeries that Koreans call the 'Basics', which is a rhinoplasty and a blepharoplasty. Attaining the standard beauty is beginning to conflict with relationships of children's and parents. In the U.S, it is encouraged for mothers to accept and make their children feel beautiful the way they are. But, in Korea, people are enhancing their beauty, and the mothers do not want to have a 'ugly child'.

To an extent, it is understandable that a person's image can reflect their success, but how far should an average person go to have 'beauty'? Cosmetic surgery is...