Ethnoscientific Approach; Social Knowledge; Local Traditional Knowledge; Decontextualization; Delocalization; Recontextualization; Pluralism; Multi-centralized; Multi-stratified
민속학연구, no.26, pp.33 - 53
The approach to the traditional knowledge of Korea’s local residents has been focused mainly on intellectual property. This knowledge refers to the systems of understanding or information on things and events that they have experienced with respect to nature, the supernatural, and human beings. There are several approaches to the local traditional knowledge, including the ethnoscientific approach, the political-cultural approach, and the ecological approach.
First, the ethnoscientific approach focuses on local residents' folk terms and categories related with the universe and the ecological environment. This type of approach examines on how people recognize animals, plants, technology, time, and space, among others. It plays an important role in developing a better understanding of social knowledge by classifying the residents' things and events from an insider's point of view.
Second, it takes note of traditional knowledge as an intellectual right containing the wisdom of humankind and the cultural value as global public goods. Admitting biological diversity, it grasps the measures to realize the local traditional knowledge of everyday matters of local residents, solutions to natural disasters, and so forth.
Third, although the local traditional knowledge has existed through cultural transmission from one generation to another, transnational culture have been influencing the decontextualization,delocalization, and recontextualization of Korea’s traditional knowledge at the level of local society.
Fourth, the cultural commercialization of traditional knowledge has appeared as one of new cultural expressions. It focuses on the institutional and communal context generating a new concept of traditionality that combines with the ideological background of knowledge production in contemporary society. Nowadays, local residents tend to culturally commercialize traditional knowledge and turn it into political resources; traditional knowledge has become a means to cultural power in the process of cultural commercialization.
Noteworthy is that to improve the diversity of traditional knowledge, it is necessary to relate pluralism to the characteristics of the multi-centralized and multi-stratified knowledge of Korea’s local society.