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Women and Confucianism in Choson Korea: New Perspectives

Editor: Youngmin Kim and Michael J. Pettid
Author: , , , ,
Publisher: , 2011
Link to online store *

From the publisher’s website:

A new, multifaceted look at Korean women during a period of strong Confucian ideology.

This volume offers a fresh, multifaceted exploration of women and Confucianism in mid- to late-Choson Korea (mid-sixteenth to early twentieth century). Using primary sources and perspectives from social history, intellectual history, literature, and political thought, contributors challenge unitary views of Confucianism as a system of thought, of women as a group, and of the relationship between the two.

Much earlier scholarship has focused on how women were oppressed under the strict patriarchal systems that emerged as Confucianism became the dominant social ideology during the Choson dynasty (1392–1910). Contributors to this volume bring to light the varied ways that diverse women actually lived during this era, from elite yangban women to women who were enslaved. Women are shown to have used various strategies to seek status, economic rights, and more comfortable spaces, with some women even emerging as Confucian intellectuals and exemplars.

Youngmin Kim is Associate Professor of Political Science at Seoul National University. Michael J. Pettid is Associate Professor of Premodern Korean Studies at Binghamton University, State University of New York. He is the author of Korean Cuisine: An Illustrated History and cotranslator (with Kil Cha) of Unyong-jon: A Love Affair at the Royal Palace of Choson Korea.


List of Tables
List of Illustrations

  1. Introduction | Michael J. Pettid and Youngmin Kim
  2. Portrait of Two Women: Multiple Layers of “Confucianism” in Late Chosŏn Korea | Youngmin Kim
  3. The Exemplar Wife: The Life of Lady Chang of Andong in Historical Context | Lee SoonGu
  4. Confucian Educational Works for Upper Status Women in Chosŏn Korea | Michael J. Pettid
  5. Neo-Confucianism as Free-floating Resource: Im Yunjidang and Kang Chŏngildang as Two Female Neo-Confucian Philosophers in Late Chosŏn | Youngmin Kim
  6. The Rights of the Eldest Daughter-in-Law and Strengthening of Adoption of Lineage Heirs in the Mid-Chosŏn Period | Lee SoonGu
  7. Questions Concerning Widows’ Social Status and Remarriage in Late Chosŏn | Jung Ji-Young
  8. Devalued Bodies, Revalued Status: Confucianism and the Plight of Female Slaves in Late Chosŏn Korea | Milan Hejtmanek


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