Conformity pressures: Deconstructing social discourses in the Korean context by Eunjoo Lee

This video shows how social discourses surrounding conformity pressures are deconstructed in a Korean context, illustrated by the Korean proverb, the pointy stone meets the chisel’. This video demonstrates how Sunnie – who felt anxious communicating with colleagues – and Eunjoo explored ways to revise her approach to conformity pressures.  The conversation with Sunnie proceeds with a map, which consists of three stages: starting with the presented problem; deconstructing social discourses; and exploring alternative stories.  The second stage is the process of externalising discourses, which has five steps: making the discourse visible and naming it (‘should get along); asking about its influences; locating it in history; locating it in situational context; and locating it in power relations.  In the third stage, what Sunnie treasures is explored with a re-authoring conversation.  In the space created by deconstructing social discourses, she chooses a balance between conforming and honouring her hearts desires – emphasising her ability to make active choices in each situation.  She shows one way in which a pointy stone can avoid the chisel and preserve its corners.


Eunjoo Lee is a narrative practitioner in Seoul, Korea. She worked for 17 years as a professor in social work at Kkottongnae University in Cheongju, Korea. Her special concerns are family, gender, violence, power relations and culture. She can be reached by email:

Published September 1, 2017
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