Economics of the Studies of Korean Local Culture

Dr. Taeck Soo Chun

Academy of Korean Studies

The 21st century is said to be the century of culture (Huntington, 1999). This means that the ordinary economic life will be more affected by symbols, aesthetics and meanings which are embodied in goods, all of which are deeply rooted in each country’s indigenous culture. Nowadays, indigenous cultures can participate more easily in economic development through the help of state-of-the-art information technology (IT). Korea has one of the best IT infrastructures, and has various indigenous cultures, each with a long individual history.

Under this circumstance, I will address four points related to my topic. First, I will explain the model which shows industrial use of indigenous culture. Second, I will introduce the huge project that I have initiated for the Academy of Korean Studies, which is called the Compilation of the Digital Encyclopedia of Korean Indigenous Local Cultures. Third, I will show several cases in which the indigenous local cultures have participated successfully in economic development. Finally, I will develop some academic and practical implications for young professionals and students.