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Cultures of Yusin: South Korea in the 1970s

From the publisher’s website:

A broad range of scholars explores the many avenues of cultural production during the Yusin period, casting new light on how it challenged and conformed to the ambitions of the state power.

Cultures of Yusin examines the turbulent and yet deeply formative period of time South Korea’s Fourth Republic (1972-79), beginning with its declaration by Park Chung Hee and ending with his assassination. With its institution and the dictatorial powers it granted to the president, the Fourth Republic was one of political repression coupled with “total mobilization of society towards modernization and development.” While much has been written about the political and economic upheaval during this period, this edited volume brings together a wide range of scholars to explore the rich and varied cultural production-literature, film, television, theater, music, art, architecture, advertising, radio, and sports-of the Yusin period, especially in its relationship to state power. By examining these areas and how they challenged and conformed to the aims of the regime, we are able to see not only the period more clearly but also how it provided the framework for contemporary Korean society.

Cultures of Yusin brings to the fore the hitherto neglected area of research: the culture of the 1970s as a site of national identity for both the state and the oppositional social movement; as a site of state indoctrination and mobilization of the citizenry and simultaneously of subversive—and individualized—expression of the people; and as a source of plural meanings and lived experiences for the people, among others. Each chapter presents new factual and historical knowledge on unfamiliar topics, and offers fresh and informed perspectives and interpretations on areas we thought we already knew.”
— Namhee Lee, UCLA


  • Introduction Youngju Ryu
  • The Race to Appropriate “Koreanness”: National Restoration, Internal Development, and Traces of Popular Culture Won Kim
  • [De]Popularizing a Confucian Master: Yusin and the Birth of T’oegye Studies  Hwisang Cho
  • Kyebaram: The Culture of Money and Investment in South Korea during the 1970s Eunhee Park
  • “My” Sweet Home in the Next Decade: The Popular Imagination of Private Homeownership during the Yusin Period Han Sang Kim
  • Peripheral Visions of Yusin: Techniscope Action Cinema and the Anxiety of the State Irhe Sohn
  • Dissident Dreams: Science Fictional Imaginations in 1970s South Korean Literature and Film Sunyoung Park
  • Alluvium of Dreams: The 1969 Master Plan and the Development of Yŏŭido Se-Mi Oh
  • “Oh Jesus, Now Here with Us”: Literary Christology in 1970s and 1980s South Korea Serk-Bae Suh
  • Why Performance in Authoritarian Korea? Joan Kee
  • Conclusion: From Yusin Redux to Yuch’e it’al Youngju Ryu


Entry on here.

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