London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

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]

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]

Supercorporate: Distinction and Participation in Post-Hierarchy South Korea

What should South Korean offices look like in a post-hierarchical world? In Supercorporate, anthropologist Michael M. Prentice examines a central tension in visions of big corporate life in South Korea’s twenty-first century: should corporations be sites of fair distinction or equal participation? As South Korea distances itself from images and figures of a hierarchical past, Prentice … [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]

Between the Streets and the Assembly: Social Movements and Political Parties for the Making of Democracy in Korea

Streets in Korea rarely go quiet without first having a public demonstration and Korean citizens are known as seasoned protestors, charting the course of national politics. Between the Streets and the Assembly explores how protest movements have become the prominent mode of democratic politics in Korea, in contrast to political parties in the National Assembly … [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]

Human Rights and Transnational Democracy in South Korea

Drawing on previously unused or underutilized archival sources, this book offers the first account of the historical intersection between South Korea’s democratic transition and the global human rights boom in the 1970s. It shows how local pro-democracy activists pragmatically engaged with global advocacy groups, especially Amnesty International and the World Council of Churches, to maximize … [Read More]

Tigers Unchained: 100 Years of Korean Anarchism

From its introduction in the early-twentieth century during the National Liberation Movement to its influence on contemporary politics and culture, anarchism has had a deep, historical significance in Korea. Tigers Unchained explores that significance through lenses that are simultaneously political, cultural, historical, and aesthetic. This translation constitutes a major contribution to multiple fields, while providing new ways … [Read More]

Historical Statistics of Korea

This book presents economic statistics of Korea in the past three centuries, focusing on the century following 1910. The data, typically time series rather than cross-sectional, are given in 22 chapters, which refer to population, wages, prices, education, health, national income and wealth, and technology, among others. Rather than simply putting together available data, the … [Read More]