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BOOK REVIEWS119 The book seems to be aimed at the general reader rather than at the scholar or specialist. The first two sections read almost like an adventure story; the tone is fairly objective and the style straightforward, colorful, and interesting. These sections provide a great deal of fascinating historical background likely to appeal to anyone with a general interest in Korea and/or the Christian church. The last three sections deal more directly with religious issues. They tend, however,to be rather superficial—due in part, no doubt, to their brevity. These three sections are also much more subjective and partisan and would thus appeal primarily to readers who share the religious views of the authors. Hi Sook Hwang Moorhead State University Entwicklungsdisparitäten der Agrarregionen Südkoreas, by Eckart Dege. Kieler Geographische Schriften, edited by J. Bahr and R. Stewig, volume 55. (2 parts: text and maps). Kiel: Selbstverlag des Geographischen Instituts der Universität Kiel, 1982. 322 pp. + 19 maps. Dege's concern is with the developmental disparities which have affected the rural society of South Korea since the early 1960s, the subsequent progress of stratification of the rural society, and ultimately with the accompanying growth of distinct agrarian regions. Dege's aim is to provide a statistically based description of those regions, to make an inquiry into the forces that contributed to their growth, and finally to suggest steps for an improvement of the situation. Basic to Dege's argument is the distinction of three types of farming units, namely, marketoriented , subsistence or semisubsistence, and submarginal units—each type of which is different in number in different areas of South Korea (pp. 5-20). Dege proceeds to use a multiple regression model to summarize quantitatively the ways in which a total of 25 operational factors affected the growth of the three types of farming units as well as of the nine agrarian regions he distinguishes in his book. He further describes the multivariate interaction that prevails among those factors themselves, the factors being comprehended within four larger categories: one of a natural-geographic order, one connected with land usage factors, one comprising social factors, and one comprising economic factors (pp. 21-172). Dege then sets about to disentangle the effects those many factors had on agrarian development, thereby determining the degree to which each of them contributed to the formation of each of the agrarian regions under discussion (pp. 172-187). This accomplished, Dege presents the results of socioeconomic surveys undertaken in eight villages. In doing so his main aim is to elaborate developmental tendencies as they manifested themselves in the course of time, and thereby juxtapose long-term developments with the results of his field research (pp. 188-245). His conclusions and suggestions (pp. 246-257) are followed by substantial summaries in German, English, and Korean (pp. 258-284). These summaries, together with the numerous charts, maps, and photographs contained in this book, will help even those with a modest knowledge of German to profit from Dege's research. 120BOOK REVIEWS I am not in a position to pass judgment on the appropriateness of the multiple regression model, or on the correctness ofits application here. However it appears to me that by the very approach Dege chose, his book stands out from most of what I have seen among socioeconomic publications related to Korea. What impressed me most is that the content of Dege's book so well corroborates what others familiar with the Korean countryside have come to know by their own research, or even from casual and unstructured observation. It is comforting to realize that what is based on statistical material to a lesser degree than Dege's conclusions is not always off the mark, and it is pleasing to realize that statistics need not always fail to respond to less systematic and more "innocent" observation . Though in large part supporting day-to-day experiences, Dege's book is far from being superfluous. In an age when quantitative documentation is held in high esteem, it seems to have become an almost inevitable requirement to refer to statistical material to support one's views and impressions, and Dege's book is of great help...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1529
Print ISSN
0145-840X
Pages
pp. 119-120
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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