London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Introducing Korean Popular Culture [forthcoming]

This new textbook is a timely and interdisciplinary resource for students looking for an introduction to Korean popular culture, exploring the multifaceted meaning of Korean popular culture at micro and macro levels and the process of cultural production, representation, circulation and consumption in a global context. Drawing on perspectives from the humanities and social sciences, … [Read More]

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]

The Korean Book of Happiness [forthcoming]

From the very first moment she set foot in South Korea, Barbara Zitwer, literary agent to some of the most celebrated, prize-winning Korean authors, fell head-over-heels in love, discovering there a renewed sense of happiness and energy. In this witty, charming book, Zitwer shares all that she has learnt about this fascinating country: a vibrant, … [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]

The Oxford Handbook of South Korean Politics

South Korea is best-known for its economic development, democratic transition and consolidation, vibrant civil society, and emergence as a cultural powerhouse. The Oxford Handbook of South Korean Politics presents and analyses contemporary South Korean politics, bringing together domestic political, economic, social cultural, and demographic developments and putting them in the context of trends in fellow … [Read More]

Memory Construction and the Politics of Time in Neoliberal South Korea

In Memory Construction and the Politics of Time in Neoliberal South Korea Namhee Lee explores memory construction and history writing in post-1987 South Korea. The massive neoliberal reconstruction of all aspects of society shifted public discourse from minjung (people) to simin (citizen), from political to cultural, from collective to individual. This shift reconstituted people as Homo economicus, rights-bearing and rights-claiming individuals, … [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]

A Global History of Ginseng: Imperialism, Modernity and Orientalism

Sul’s history of the international ginseng trade reveals the cultural aspects of international capitalism and the impact of this single commodity on relations between East and West. Ginseng emerged as a major international commodity in the seventeenth century, when the East India Company began trading it westward. Europeans were drawn to the plant’s efficacy as … [Read More]

Spirit Power: Politics and Religion in Korea’s American Century

Spirit Power explores the manifestation of the American Century in Korean history with a focus on religious culture. It looks back on the encounter with American missionary power from the late nineteenth century, and the long political struggles against the country’s indigenous popular religious heritage during the colonial and postcolonial eras. The book brings an anthropology … [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]