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Author Topic: North Face Jackets  (Read 1373 times)

Offline confusedsafferinkorea

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North Face Jackets
« on: December 23, 2011, 10:59:18 AM »
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2011/12/117_101403.html

Here is an interesting story. With SMOE phasing out uniforms next year, I need to get some shares in North Face a.s.a.p    ;D ;D ;D

I loved this one:

“I know it’s really ridiculous,” said Choi Gyeong-soo, a father of two sons. “But I had to buy my sons expensive North Face down jackets as they told me they could be bullied if they didn’t have one.”

Boy did he get suckered.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 11:03:55 AM by confusedsafferinkorea »
Everything is not as it seems.

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Offline #basedcowboyshirt

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Re: North Face Jackets
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2011, 11:31:12 AM »

“I know it’s really ridiculous,” said Choi Gyeong-soo, a father of two sons. “But I had to buy my sons expensive North Face down jackets as they told me they could be bullied if they didn’t have one.”

Boy did he get suckered.

I can see how you think he got 'suckered,' but as a teacher in a boys' high school, I witness firsthand the social stratification of students based on their perceived wealth and 'coolness.' Students that don't wear nice clothes are often ostracized by their peers here. Bullying can take many forms - physical, mental, and social - and these students asking their father for North Face jackets to avoid bullying is likely a completely honest concern on their part. This being said, it's a very sad state of affairs that the students have this concern or fear in the first place.

An interesting anecdote - I went shopping with one of my coteachers last weekend. She was shopping for a jacket for her 16 year old son in the Gangnam Shinsegae. She asked me what suggestions I had. I suggested things like WESC, Superdry, Ben Sherman, and Arcteryx (all of which were in stock at Shinsegae with this year's catalogue) in addition to the obvious North Face choice. She looked at some of my suggestions, then beelined to the North Face section, asked the salesman whether these were the jackets that male students were wearing, and after he said yes, she bought one for 550,000won and explained to me that her son specifically needed North Face because 'that's what boy students wear these days.'

What can we take away from that long-winded story of mine? Don't underestimate the collectivist culture of high school (note: this is not restricted just to Korean high schools. Trends and fads permeate western schools, too). Individuality isn't celebrated in high school, and this is especially true here.



 

Offline SpaceRook

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Re: North Face Jackets
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2011, 02:21:45 PM »
An interesting anecdote - I went shopping with one of my coteachers last weekend. She was shopping for a jacket for her 16 year old son in the Gangnam Shinsegae. She asked me what suggestions I had. I suggested things like WESC, Superdry, Ben Sherman, and Arcteryx (all of which were in stock at Shinsegae with this year's catalogue) in addition to the obvious North Face choice. She looked at some of my suggestions, then beelined to the North Face section, asked the salesman whether these were the jackets that male students were wearing, and after he said yes, she bought one for 550,000won and explained to me that her son specifically needed North Face because 'that's what boy students wear these days.'

My god.  I recently bought a new suit - jacket, dress shirt, pants, belt - and I barely topped 300,000 won.

Seriously, this country needs punk rock.  Any kind of anti-consumerist anti-authoritarian sentiment would be a welcome change, however small.   

Offline Hoosier_Jedi

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Re: North Face Jackets
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2011, 02:26:58 PM »
The North Face things really is absurd. I bought a jacket at the supermarket and it works just fine. I was HAPPY not to wear North Face.

Offline confusedsafferinkorea

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Re: North Face Jackets
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2011, 03:20:52 PM »

“I know it’s really ridiculous,” said Choi Gyeong-soo, a father of two sons. “But I had to buy my sons expensive North Face down jackets as they told me they could be bullied if they didn’t have one.”

Boy did he get suckered.

I can see how you think he got 'suckered,' but as a teacher in a boys' high school, I witness firsthand the social stratification of students based on their perceived wealth and 'coolness.' Students that don't wear nice clothes are often ostracized by their peers here. Bullying can take many forms - physical, mental, and social - and these students asking their father for North Face jackets to avoid bullying is likely a completely honest concern on their part. This being said, it's a very sad state of affairs that the students have this concern or fear in the first place.

An interesting anecdote - I went shopping with one of my coteachers last weekend. She was shopping for a jacket for her 16 year old son in the Gangnam Shinsegae. She asked me what suggestions I had. I suggested things like WESC, Superdry, Ben Sherman, and Arcteryx (all of which were in stock at Shinsegae with this year's catalogue) in addition to the obvious North Face choice. She looked at some of my suggestions, then beelined to the North Face section, asked the salesman whether these were the jackets that male students were wearing, and after he said yes, she bought one for 550,000won and explained to me that her son specifically needed North Face because 'that's what boy students wear these days.'

What can we take away from that long-winded story of mine? Don't underestimate the collectivist culture of high school (note: this is not restricted just to Korean high schools. Trends and fads permeate western schools, too). Individuality isn't celebrated in high school, and this is especially true here.

Yes, I fully believe you there, it is the same in most societies.  Just worries me that SMOE are so hell-bent on allowing freedom of expression and banning uniforms next year and the consequences are this.  In my country the question of uniforms has been debated for years and for sure there are many pros and cons to both situations but at least a uniform eliminates this kind of thing.

Having said that, I don't think that schools here really adhere to what a uniform means. They wear the basics but then they wear any old shoes, any colour stockings and any old jacket. Skirt lengths are bizarre and make up is allowed, so perhaps in this case it is better to scrap the uniform... who knows?
Everything is not as it seems.

No one owes you anything.... get over it.

NEVER think a failure is the end of the world, it is the beginning of a new opportunity.

The earth is flat....... I think, ha ha ha !!

There is no known medical cure for stupidity!

Offline hwana

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Re: North Face Jackets
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2011, 05:10:09 PM »
Dunno if it was the same in other parts of the world but when I was in secondary school (Plymouth, England) almost everybody was wearing Helly Hansen sailing jackets (like this --> http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v721/sethbreaker/2010%20pictures/AsosShoot001.jpg). I think the North Face jackets look a lot better in comparison and can understand the mentality of needing to have what the other kids are wearing. It's a shame that the must have item is so expensive, though. The town where I work is a low income area and I wonder how the parents managed to afford the NF jackets that about 80% of my middle school students are wearing.

If you can read Korean, this blog article became popular recently - http://blog.naver.com/acne100?Redirect=Log&logNo=70126770841 - a scale to assess the wearer of a NF jacket, including 'loser', 'bully'  and 'captain'.

 

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