The influence of Wangtta on God-images of Koren children : a pastoral assessment

Shim, Young Hee Kim (2003-04)

Thesis (DTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2003

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The need for this research arose from the phenomenon of Wangtta which has recently become a widespread form of anti-social behavior. It causes tremendous stress to Korean children, especially affecting primary school children who are emotionally very vulnerable and who still are in the process of forming their self-image and worldview. The dissertation is an attempt to investigate the social and cultural phenomenon of Wangtta in order to provide some help to parents, teachers and pastoral care takers concerned with meeting the needs of children who are victims of Wangtta. Wangtta is an extreme form of violent peer pressure which includes physical and verbal assaults. It takes the form of peer group tyranny. Individuals vent their anger, frustration, and feeling of defeatedness on victims among their own peers. Their aim is total excommunication of an individual from the group. In this way they achieve a distorted sense of superiority. Wangtta seems to be the outcome of confused identity and devastated spirituality resulting from the impact of clash between conflicting cultures, worldviews and spirituality. The phenomenon of Wangtta should there be assessed against the background of Shananism, Confusionism and Buddhism. Thus the reason for cultural and systemic approach. Empirical research, using questionnaires, showed the self-image of Korean children to be extremely weak and fragile due to existing cultural processes of change and transformation. The basic hypothesis is that in terms of a theological anthropology, self-images and God-images are interrelated to each other and to such a degree that they greatly affect the person's ability to cope with severe crises in life. In order to help children to establish a healthy self-image, pastoral care should focus on the refraiming of God-images. The establishment of appropriate God-images will not only promote more constructive and purposeful coping mechanisms by children, but will also change their attitude to life. The God-images of children have to be represented, redirected and reframed according to a worldview determined by Christian spirituality. The outcome of this dissertation is that pastoral care to the phenomenon of Wangtta implies a God-image determined by a theopaschitic stance in pastoral theology: l.e. the notion of a suffering God. The dissertation opts for the notion: God as a Soul Friend and a Partner for life. Pastoral care to the phenomenon of Wangtta therefore implies a God-image which can foster hope and grant forgiveness. The dissertation stresses the importance of the cross-cultural and spiritual dimension of pastoral care within the postrnodem culture of the Korean society.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In die lig van radikale sosio-ekonomiese en kulturele verskuiwings gedurende die laaste gedeelte van die twintigste eeu, was die Koreaanse samelewing onderworpe aan ingrypende transformasieprosesse. Die impak hiervan het aanleiding gegee tot 'n unieke anti-sosiale gedragspatroon onder veral kinders, genoemd: Wangtta. Vanwee uitermate stres en 'n gevoel van onbehae onder Koreaanse kinders, fokus die navorsing op laerskoolkinders wat op emosionele vlak uiters weerloos en ontwrig is. Die navorsing fokus op die slagoffers van Wangtta ten einde pastorale hulpverleners en ouers in staat te stel om sulke kinders te versorg en te beraad. Wangtta word beskryf as 'n ekstreme vorm van sosiale geweld en groepsdruk. Vanwee verhoogde fisieke en verbale geweld verkeer die slagoffers van Wangtta onder buitengewone emosionele druk. Wangtta word beskryf as 'n unieke Koreaanse gestalte van groepsdruk en sosiale geweld as gevolg van die wisselwerkende verband tussen postrnodernisme en die religieuse tradisies soos Confusionisme, Shamanisme en Boedisme binne die Koreaanse kultuursituasie. Die verskuiwing van 'n mono-, hierargiese kultuur na 'n gesekulariseerde postmodeme en globale kultuur het 'n geweldige impak op gesinstrukture gehad. Binne 'n kultuur waar skaamte 'n groot rol speel,. is Wangtta beskryf as 'n psigo-sosiale reaksiefenomeen wat impakteer op die selfbeeld van kinders en hul spiritualiteit. Met behulp van 'n empiriese ondersoek is die uiters brose selfbeeld van Koreaanse kinders beskryf. Die basiese hipotese van die navorsing is dat binne die raamwerk van 'n teologiese antropologie, daar 'n direkte wisselwerkende verband tussen selfbeeld en Godsbeeld bestaan. 'n Dergelike lnteraksie bepaal deurslaggewend kinders se geloof [spirituele identiteit] en hul hantering van lewenskrisisse. Die basiese argument van die proefskrif is dat 'n toepaslike Godskonsep en 'n rekonstruksie van Godsvoorstellinge in die pastorale beradingsproses, kinders kan help om meer konstruktief en doelgerig binne sosiale transforrnasieprosesse op te tree. Op pastoraal-teologiese vlak bevind die proefskrif dat 'n wegbeweeg van 'n outoritere en outokraties-hierargiese Godsbegrip na 'n meer patosvolle Godsbegrip, kan bydra tot die heling van persoonlike identiteit. Die proefskrif sluit aan by die teopasgitiese paradigma, naamlik die konsep van God se weerloosheid, God se Vriendskap en Sy identifikasie met ons lyding. God as Vriend en Lewensbondgenoot, Lewenspartner kan slagoffers van Wangtta help tot 'n nuwe toekomsgerigte en hoopvolle lewensorientasie, Die pathoskomponent in kinders se Godsbeeld, kan daartoe bydra dat die konsepte van genade, vergifnis en versoening opnuut nuwe betekenis kry in 'n pastorale krisisberading aan beide die slagoffers en die oortreders [skuldiges] van Wangtta. Die beskrywing an die fenomeen Wangtta beklemtoon die belangrikheid van kruis-kulturele pastorale berading binne die Koreaanse konteks met 'n herformulering van die spiritualiteitsdimensie in die lig van 'n pastorale Godkonseprekonstruksie.

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