On January 29, 2012, “The Economist” published a piece entitled “Korean Golfers: The Magic Formula,” that tried to answer how four of the top 10 female golfers in the world ended up coming out of South Korea. 

In the article, the author suggest Koreans are good at playing golf because:

  1. “South Korea is a small, crowded country” and that “lack of space means that golfers start off hitting balls at a driving

    range instead of playing a proper course. This means they hit a heck of a

    lot of balls.”

  2. Korean culture stresses constant repetition in pursuit of perfection.
  3. Korean fathers push their daughters harder than dads elsewhere.
  4. Korean society is so competitive–think of the effort Korean kids put into passing exams–that it breeds champions.

The author never mentions anything based on skill or talent or smarts.

“Unfortunately, the analysis is less than impressive, and rather

offensive. The author ignores the individual talents of the golfers

mentioned, and instead resorts to age-old Asian stereotypes, including ‘strict fathers’ and a propensity to ‘breed champions,’” Adriel Luis, a Colorlines.com contributor and artist based in Brooklyn, NY wrote on a site he created called economist-staff.com.

“If the statistic — that 38 out of 100 top golfers are Korean — is newsworthy, then how about other, more stark statistics? How about the fact that, 94 of the 96 people listed in The Economist’s staff directory are White?”

Check out economist-staff.com for a illustrated view (beautiful infographics) of who’s behind the pages of ‘The Economist.’


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