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"Lonely Nights in Itaewon"

Cultural Anthropology Group Work
by

YeongJin Kim

on 12 November 2012

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Transcript of "Lonely Nights in Itaewon"

Cultural Anthropology
Participant Observation "Lonely Nights in Itaewon" Objective 1) Our group's purpose of research
- Find out how foreigners interact with one another
and spend their lonely nights in Seoul
-What brings people to a bar/pub
<Date of Observation: Nov. 1st, 2012 from 19:00-22:00> Appearance 1) Ethnicity
- Westerners(Mostly Caucasians), Koreans
2) How People Dress
- Koreans: Formal (Suits)
- Westerners: Casual (formal clothes at night)
3) Age & Gender
- Men: over 30, Women: under 30
- Gender Structure changed periodically Verbal Behavior
and Interactions 1) Language Used
- English and Korean
- Some spoke in German, No Dialects
2) What We found
- At first: Conversations within the small groups (Koreans) or among different groups (Westerners). Long conversations among the guests. Short with the bartenders.
- Later on: more interaction between the two groups Physical Behavior
and Gestures 1) What People Do?
- Drinking and Socializing, Scanning
2) Any Particular Physical Behavior?
- Handshakes, High-Fives, Lots of hand motions
- Some standing with a bottle of beer in hand
Indicates that one is open to conversations People Who Stand Out 1) A Korean Gentleman in his 50s at the bar

2) Two Black Males (Only non-Caucasians among Westerners)

3) Human Traffic?
A. In a group of 2 or 3 (Koreans) / Individually (Westerners)
B. Average amount of time spent
Koreans relatively shorter than Westerners Additional Record of Observation 1) Studying/working in a pub?
- Considered unusual, awkward, abnormal

2) Looking around curious
- A waiter/waitress will come and ask
if you need anything (orders?) A) About the Three Alley Pub?
- Used to be only one of the few places in town where "foreigners" get together and socialize
- More pubs and more Koreans these days
- Two Gentlemen in pub-
B) Why Come to Itaewon?
- In order to get away from the strict Korean society, relieve stress from work, and enjoy an exotic atmosphere
- Three Korean ladies in pub-
c) Bartender's Opinion
- Representative evening Shortcomings and Conclusion A. Shortcomings
1) Difficult to interview people

2) Difficult to take pictures of people

3) Finding the right bar

B. Conclusion
1) Interesting to see people's pattern of behavior in a pub Participant Observation
-> Will be Happy to do it again :) History of Itaewon 1) Location: Yongsan District in Seoul (the center of South Korea's Capital)

2) A dwelling place for natives and foreigners
A. The U.S. military base and official residences of foreign representatives since the
Korean War
3) Change and Development of Itaewon
A. 70s- People began to move in and opened small shops selling souvenirs for a living
Later on, small shops gradually turned into tailor and antique shops
B. 80s- Itaewon gained the name of "international shopping area" in 1983
1986 Asian Games and 1988 Seoul Olympics => Itaewon became
even more popular
C. 90s- designated as a 'Special Tourism Zone'
Full transcript