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Gender Politics at Home and Abroad: Protestant Modernity in Colonial-Era Korea

From the publisher’s website:

Hyaeweol Choi examines the formation of modern gender relations in Korea from a transnational perspective. Diverging from a conventional understanding of ‘secularization’ as a defining feature of modernity, Choi argues that Protestant Christianity, introduced to Korea in the late nineteenth century, was crucial in shaping modern gender ideology, reforming domestic practices and claiming new space for women in the public sphere. In Korea, Japanese colonial power – and with it, Japanese representations of modernity – was confronted with the dominant cultural and material power of Europe and the US, which was reflected in Korean attitudes. One of the key agents in conveying ideas of “Western modernity” in Korea was globally connected Christianity, especially US-led Protestant missionary organizations. By placing gender and religion at the center of the analysis, Choi shows that the development of modern gender relations was rooted in the transnational experience of Koreans and not in a simple nexus of the colonizer and the colonized.

  • Considers the influence of multiple cultures in shaping modern gender relations in Korea
  • Illustrates how Protestant global networks played a significant role in shaping gendered modernity
  • Demonstrates colonial and postcolonial roots of gender norms and practices in modern Korea

Hyaeweol Choi is a scholar of gender history. She is the C. Maxwell and Elizabeth M. Stanley Family and Korea Foundation Chair in Korean Studies at the University of Iowa.


1. Ideology: ‘Wise mother, good wife’
2. Materiality: the experience of modern house and home
3. Crossing: selfhood, nation, and the world
4. Labor: searching for rural modernity

Entry on here.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.