London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

On the Move for Love: Migrant Entertainers and the U.S. Military in South Korea

From the publisher’s website: Since the Korean War, gijichon—U.S. military camp towns—have been fixtures in South Korea. The most popular entertainment venues in gijichon are clubs, attracting military clientele with duty-free alcohol, music, shows, and women entertainers. In the 1990s, South Korea’s rapid economic advancement, combined with the stigma and low pay attached to this work, led to … [Read More]

The Making of Minjung: Democracy and the Politics of Representation in South Korea

In this sweeping intellectual and cultural history of the minjung (“common people’s”) movement in South Korea, Namhee Lee shows how the movement arose in the 1970s and 1980s in response to the repressive authoritarian regime and grew out of a widespread sense that the nation’s “failed history” left Korean identity profoundly incomplete. The Making of … [Read More]

Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF: South Korean Popular Religion in Motion

Thirty years ago, anthropologist Laurel Kendall did intensive fieldwork among South Korea’s (mostly female) shamans and their clients as a reflection of village women’s lives. In the intervening decades, South Korea experienced an unprecedented economic, social, political, and material transformation and Korean villages all but disappeared. And the shamans? Kendall attests that they not only … [Read More]

South Koreans in the Debt Crisis: The Creation of a Neoliberal Welfare Society

From the publisher’s website: South Koreans in the Debt Crisis is a detailed examination of the logic underlying the neoliberal welfare state that South Korea created in response to the devastating Asian Debt Crisis (1997–2001). Jesook Song argues that while the government proclaimed that it would guarantee all South Koreans a minimum standard of living, it … [Read More]

Diaspora without Homeland: Being Korean in Japan

From the publisher’s website: More than one-half million people of Korean descent reside in Japan today—the largest ethnic minority in a country often assumed to be homogeneous. This timely, interdisciplinary volume blends original empirical research with the vibrant field of diaspora studies to understand the complicated history, identity, and status of the Korean minority in … [Read More]

The Unending Korean War: A Social History

Dong-Choon Kim seeks to understand the true impact of the Korean War (1950-1953) on South Korea’s people and society. How did key figures such as President Syngman Rhee respond when North Korean troops crossed the thirty-eighth parallel and what does this tell us about the nature of the South Korean state at the time? How … [Read More]

Kyongju Things: Assembling Place

From the publisher’s website: A historical ethnography of place amidst objects in the contemporary city of Kyongju, South Korea Kyongju is South Korea’s preeminent “culture city,” an urban site rich with archaeological wonders that residents compare to those of Nara, Xian, and Rome. By examining these ancient objects in relation to the controversies that engulfed … [Read More]

The Dawn of Modern Korea: the transformation in life and cityscape

The 20th century was a time of great changes for any country, but in Korea these changes were especially dramatic. In 1960, it was one of the world’s poorest countries. By 2000 it transformed itself into one of the world’s largest economies. This astonishing transformation completely changed Koreans’ daily life as well. This book describes … [Read More]

Modern Korean Society: Its Development and Prospect

From the publisher’s website: This volume serves as a comprehensive survey textbook on modern Korean society for use by students and teachers alike. The chapters provide discussion on key issues of modern Korean studies, including regionalism, inequality, and division. The common theme is the influence of Korea’s unique traditional elements on the modernization process and … [Read More]

Korean Society: Civil Society, democracy and the state

From the publisher’s website: While most analyses of Korean politics have looked to elites to explain political change, this new and revised edition of Korean Society examines the role of ordinary people in this dramatic transformation. Taking the innovative theme of ‘civil society’ – voluntary organizations outside the role of the state which have participated … [Read More]

Korea Witness: 135 Years of War, Crisis and News in the Land of the Morning Calm

Publisher description: This book follows the long journey of correspondents who have passed through Korea. Since the first of them, photographer Felice Beato, arrived in 1871 with American troops invading Kangwha Island, foreign journalists have puzzled over this land, as complicated and fascinating now as 135 years ago. Famed author Jack London grappled with a … [Read More]

Ethnic Nationalism in Korea: Genealogy, Politics, and Legacy

From the publisher’s website: This book explains the roots, politics, and legacy of Korean ethnic nationalism, which is based on the sense of a shared bloodline and ancestry. Belief in a racially distinct and ethnically homogeneous nation is widely shared on both sides of the Korean peninsula, although some scholars believe it is a myth … [Read More]

Militarized Modernity and Gendered Citizenship in South Korea

From the publisher’s website: This pathbreaking study presents a feminist analysis of the politics of membership in the South Korean nation over the past four decades. Seungsook Moon examines the ambitious effort by which South Korea transformed itself into a modern industrial and militarized nation. She demonstrates that the pursuit of modernity in South Korea … [Read More]

Women, Television and Everyday Life in Korea: Journeys of Hope

From the publisher’s website: Fusing audience research and ethnography, the book presents a compelling account of women’s changing lives and identities in relation to the impact of the most popular media culture in everyday life: television. Within the historically-specific social conditions of Korean modernity, Youna Kim analyzes how Korean women of varying age and class group cope … [Read More]

North Korea in the 21st Century: An Interpretative Guide

North Korea is not easily accessible, but boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the Korean Peninsula, and arguably in East Asia. Travel to and in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is tightly controlled, while political, economic, social and cultural life is played out in terms of a not readily understood philosophy, known … [Read More]

From Elder to Ancestor: Old Age, Death and Inheritance in Modern Korea

From the publisher’s website: This insightful account of the treatment and provision for an ageing population in South Korea is based on intensive fieldwork in the county of Puan, and adds considerably to the literature in what is happening in the fusion between older Korean culture and modern Western individualism. The structure of the book … [Read More]