London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Flawless: Lessons in Looks and Culture from the K-Beauty Capital [forthcoming]

A cutting-edge journalistic exposé of self-care consumerism, using the extreme case South Korea to both celebrate the astounding growth of K-Beauty and South Korean pop culture as a global export and examine the dark implications for women in a looks-obsessed patriarchy, in a debut that asks the question: What is the future of beauty? From … [Read More]

Flowers of Fire: The Inside Story of South Korea’s Feminist Movement and What It Means for Women’ s Rights Worldwide [forthcoming]

An eye-opening firsthand account of the ongoing and trailblazing feminist movement in South Korea—one that the world should be watching. Since the beginning of the #MeToo movement, tens of thousands of people in South Korea have taken to the street, and many more brave individuals took a stand, to end a decades-long abortion ban and … [Read More]

Calculated Nationalism in Contemporary South Korea: Movements for Political and Economic Democratization in the 21st Century [forthcoming]

Nationalism in a nation-state reflects its emergent structural, cultural, and personal properties at a given time. In the politico-historical context of South Korea and the globe, the fruits of the 1968 Revolution in France could not reach Korean society under its military regime and exploitative economic structure. This continued to frustrate the grassroots and especially social actors … [Read More]

Korean Wave in World Englishes: The Linguistic Impact of Korea’s Popular Culture

This book examines the linguistic impact of the Korean Wave on World Englishes, demonstrating that the K-Wave is not only a phenomenon of popular culture, but also language. The “Korean Wave” is a neologism that was coined during the 1990s that includes K-pop, K-dramas, K-film, K-food, and K-beauty, and in recent years it has peaked … [Read More]

South Korean Popular Culture in the Global Context: Beyond the Fandom

This book explores the recent landscape of Korean popular culture, including celebrity diplomacy, political activism, and inter-Korean relations in the era of ‘ontact’, with a special focus on K-pop and K-drama. Utilising the interdisciplinary approach, along with theoretical accounts, it redefines popular culture and its true power – beyond soft power – including discussions of … [Read More]

Flower of Capitalism: South Korean Advertising at a Crossroads

An ethnography of advertising in postmillennial South Korea, Flower of Capitalism: South Korean Advertising at a Crossroads details contests over advertising freedoms and obligations among divergent vested interests while positing far-reaching questions about the social contract that governs advertising in late-capitalist societies. The term “flower of capitalism” is a clichéd metaphor for advertising in South Korea, bringing … [Read More]

Mediating the South Korean Other: Representations and Discourses of Difference in the Post/Neocolonial Nation-State

Multiculturalism in Korea formed in the context of its neoliberal, global aspirations, its postcolonial legacy with Japan, and its subordinated neocolonial relationship with the United States. The Korean ethnoscape and mediascape produce a complex understanding of difference that cannot be easily reduced to racism or ethnocentrism. Indeed the Korean word, injongchabyeol, often translated as racism, … [Read More]

Privilege and Anxiety: The Korean Middle Class in the Global Era

In Privilege and Anxiety, Hagen Koo examines what has happened to the Korean middle class in the era of rapid globalization and demonstrates that the middle class has experienced significant changes in its social character. The middle classes in most advanced economies today are frequently described as being “squeezed” and “shrinking.” Globalization has inserted an “axis … [Read More]

Redefining Multicultural Families in South Korea: Reflections and Future Directions

Redefining Multicultural Families in South Korea provides an in-depth look at the lives of families in Korea that include immigrants. Ten original chapters in this volume, written by scholars in multiple social science disciplines and covering different methodological approaches, aim to reinvigorate contemporary discussions about these multicultural families. Specially, the volume expands the scope of … [Read More]

Confronting South Korea’s Next Crisis: Rigidities, Polarization, and Fear of Japanification

South Korea’s economic miracle is a well-known story. However, today Korea is confronting a new set of internal and external risks, which may foreshadow the next crisis. The Korean economy has been struggling with the faltering growth momentum and the rise of unprecedented socio-economic problems over recent years well before the pandemic crisis. After abrupt … [Read More]

Shrimp to Whale: South Korea from the Forgotten War to K-Pop

South Korea has the most remarkable of histories. Born from the ashes of colonialism, partition and a devastating war, back in the 1950s there were real doubts about its survival as an independent state. Yet South Korea did survive, and first became known globally for the export of cheap toys, shoes and clothing. Today, South … [Read More]

The Two Koreas and their Global Engagements

This book departs from existing studies by focusing on the impact of international influences on the society, culture, and language of both North and South Korea. Since President Kim Young Sam’s segyehwa drive of the mid-1990s, South Korea has become a model for successful globalization. In contrast, North Korea is commonly considered one of the least … [Read More]

Invented Traditions in North and South Korea

Almost forty years after the publication of Hobsbawm and Ranger’s The Invention of Tradition, the subject of invented traditions—cultural and historical practices that claim a continuity with a distant past but which are in fact of relatively recent origin—is still relevant, important, and highly contentious. Invented Traditions in North and South Korea examines the ways in which compressed modernity, … [Read More]

Hegemonic Mimicry: Korean Popular Culture of the Twenty-First Century

In Hegemonic Mimicry, Kyung Hyun Kim considers the recent global success of Korean popular culture—the Korean wave of pop music, cinema, and television also known as hallyu—from a transnational and transcultural perspective. Using the concept of mimicry to think through hallyu’s adaptation of American sensibilities and genres, he shows how the commercialization of Korean popular culture … [Read More]

The Candlelight Movement, Democracy, and Communication in Korea

From the publisher’s website: This book examines key features, problems and implications of the 2016-2017 Candlelight Movement, a historical cornerstone for democracy and social movements in South Korea. The Candlelight Movement brought profound social changes with important lessons and questions for scholars, practitioners, activists, and the public. To examine the full complexity of the movement, … [Read More]

Routledge Handbook of Contemporary South Korea

The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary South Korea offers a ground-breaking study of the socio-political development of the Korean peninsula in the contemporary period. Written by an international team of scholars and experts, contributions to this book address key intellectual questions in the development of Korean studies, projecting new ways of thinking about how international systems … [Read More]