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Abstract

This study explores the national image of South Korea by employing Q methodology. A structured Q sample of 36 photos representing (1) culture, (2) history, (3) economy, (4) people, (5) place, and (6) political system of Korea was sorted by 30 participants (10 Koreans, 10 Korean-Americans, and 10 non-Koreans) from (-4) “most uncharacteristic of Korea” to (+4) “most characteristic of Korea.” Two factors emerged from the subsequent correlation and factor analysis of the 30 Q sorts representing distinct views of Korea: (A) Advanced economy and technology and (B) historical view emphasizing the political system. Factor A participants associated the images of high-tech products such as a smartphone and a premium sports sedan manufactured by Korean companies with their view of Korea, while Factor B participants highlighted the images illustrating the divided situation of the Korean Peninsula and other historically important political moments.

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