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What is Different in Students’ Movements of 60 - 70s and Now?
[360호] 2015년 04월 08일 (수) Reporter Choi Jong hyeok cjh05@
Every society has economic, political, and cultural problems. Every time the problems accumulate, people try to solve the problems but the manners in which they have been solved differ. In Korea, university students have tried to outst the dictators and reform the Constitution. Compared to university students now, they were so active even though the media through which they could link to each other was narrow and limited. Wondering how they were so effective and why current university students are different, The Postech Times interviewed Minister Choi Jun Soo, who was a student activism leader and has published papers on this topic.

Purposes of students in the 60-70s and now
The most pressing issue was understandably the replacement of the corrupt dictatorial government. However, a minority of students exploited the movement as chance for success. Strangely, the students became members of congress, which resulted in distrust in our society. Current student movements are much smaller in scale. As people now have an obvious political tendency, the problems are not shown as explicit. Consequently, large scale demonstrations can’t be achieved.

Leaders of movements and how they were and are selected
Not all universities were involved in movement at that time. Specific universities and specific departments were activated, which resulted in choosing particular and limited students. Most leaders of movements were well-qualified people selected by senior groups. In the view of the Central Intelligence Agency and corrupted governments, it was easy to catch prime activists and link people since they were gathered and had related interests. The selection method created another problem in that innocent people were targeted just because they knew senior group members. Now, as the demonstrations are small scale, the selection of a leader is easy in a different way. Leaders can be selected based on what others know about them.

Limitations of student movements
Even though students’ movements began with people of so called “distinguished universities” or departments of politics, as military dictatorship was intensified, the style of the movements changed to semi-basement style. Semi-basement style movements failed to generate sympathy among the crowd, which made movements put forth a thoroughly political struggle. To solve the problem, they chose to connect the mass in labor unions, but differing ideas made these fail, too. Students now are limited in that their right to life couldn’t be guaranteed because of economic structure if they do movements.
The style, media, limitations, and political states of then and now are so different. However, for more active movements to solve revealed or unrevealed social problems, the effort to guarantee students is needed.

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