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Anthropology from Asian Missiological Insights

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Man Soo Mok

Anthropology from Asian Missiological Insights embraces and incorporates a combination of practical experiences, useful strategies, and grounded theories. Readers, regardless of their cultural background, will acquire new practical tools for missions. Man Soo (Abraham) Mok insightfully uses anthropological issues to examine folk beliefs, customs, and commitment. In addition, the author analyzes Korean culture to help readers grasp how the gospel took root in Korea – as it might have happened in any other culture.

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17. Who Are You? 102

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c h a p t e r s e v e n t e e n Who Are You? An individual is the most basic ingredient of a society because all levels of families and groups are based upon the individual. Within the society, each individual has a certain position, rank, or status, which determines the individual’s responsibility and authority to execute his or her role. Thus, in order to maintain status, an indi- vidual must behave well within his or her rights. In India, there is a caste system. People earn a defined status in accordance with their parents. In England or Japan, there is a status that is privileged in birth. This is called an “ascribed” status while in most societies status is “achieved.” In order to achieve a higher status, people study and work hard to best fulfill their roles. Some- times a national in underdeveloped country will want to marry a missionary from a developed country in order to elevate his or her status. Since status and role are multi-faceted, sometimes they are confused, creating conflict between a person’s role and status. To make matters more confusing, there are often unique status and role demarcations, depending on the specific situations. For example, a married man’s function is to take care of his children; meanwhile, as a husband, he also plays a different role with his wife. His position in his company is a low rank, but as an elder in the church, he is considered...

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