BYUN CHAN YOUNG
June 27, 2013
A path of a country
In my reading I chose to discuss the concept of “latent functions”. I chose this because this concept is very much related to my life and what I have experienced. Latent functions are consequences that unconsciously happen and are not intended to happen. In Korea we have presidential elections every 5 years and congressional elections every 4 years. I have had the chance to vote and I found it a great experience because some of family like my parents and grandparents did not grow up in a democracy. They did not have the rights that I get to exercise. In Korea we have had 18 elections and ten presidents since the 1950s. Three of the presidents came from the military and became president by coups. Since the 1950s we have had a constitution and people have wanted to make a democratic country. Before 2003, most of the presidents wanted to establish long one-man rule, citizens had little power, because presidents were not elected and often came to power because of a coup. Information from the media could not be trusted and the president could change media laws, control journalists, and spread propaganda. The propaganda was intended to make citizens believe politics would change and serve citizens and not the politicians. But this did not happen. Instead, there were “unintended” consequences of this plan that made people like the government and its policies less. They had a negative view of the president after the control of the media. The citizens knew the real truth, the reality in their daily life, which was very different than how the government portrayed it. When I look into the past of Korea I see many historical events that can be explained using “latent functions”. Governments and presidents have attempted to control the population, to deny democracy and try to rule the country without citizen input. They lost power and were forced to leave office even though they always tried to centralize their...
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