The age-graded seniority system, familial structure, and lifetime employment, at least as an ideology, used to be the hallmarks of Korean corporate culture. Following the financial crisis in 1997, however, layoffs, early retirement, job insecurity and increased competition have become the realities of the workplace. The question is: How have these uncertainties and the harsher corporate environment changed the way Koreans think about work? How has their work ethic changed? This paper explores how Koreans perception of work has become more realistic and self-centered, as they are much more conscious of their future potential and working conditions. Their sense of identity is no longer primarily based on work and jobs. Not surprisingly, job satisfaction has conspicuously declined. What is also noteworthy is how the heartless world of work, as it is now popularly perceived, has inspired changes in job selection considerations. What all of this shows is that Korean workers identities are no longer homogeneous and work-oriented. Following the financial crisis, working conditions and types of employment have become much more varied, leading to the gradual diminution of collective consciousness.
This paper aims to demonstrate how the 1997 economic crisis influenced Koreans everyday life, as well as the particularities of the means Koreans used to cope with the crisis of everydayness. To achieve these aims, this paper examines the changes made in Korean consumption and leisure following the economic crisis. The findings are as follows: the economic crisis polarized consumption and leisure in Korean society and served as momentum for aggravating social inequality. Meanwhile, it is worth noting that Korean society evidenced particularities in coping with the crisis. Despite the economic crisis, the Korean style of leisure represented by drinking and singing continued, as it is closely connected with Korean traditional culture. It can be argued from this that when the crisis of everydayness occurred, coping depended not only upon economic factors but social and cultural tradition.
This paper aims to examine the ideological terrain and the change in political ideology and consciousness since the economic crisis of 1997late 1990s in South Korea. The ideological terrain in South Korea changed from thea Conservative-led one to that of a competition of among the Conservative, the Moderateiddle, and the Progressive, and while the impact of globalization each of these three patterns is divided into two categories by .the impact of globalization. Region and generation have played a more critical role than class in the formation of political consciousness in South Korea. Regionalism or regionalistic sentiment has emerged as the most significant criterion since the June Democratization Movement of 1987 while generation factor has gained more influence with globalization and the coming of information society since the late 1990s. Recent changes in the ideological terrain of South Korea can be interpreted not as the end of ideology or the renaissance of ideology, but as the coexistence of the politicization and depoliticization of civil and political societies.
This paper focuses on texts by the enlightenment group that actively introduced and accepted the concept of Western liberalism between 1895 and 1905, the year that when Korea began to loset its national sovereignty. Based on these texts, the paper explores how the concept of the individual that was represented in the as modern in Korean modernity was changed and transformed in each period, and examines the different meanings of this concept. Of the terms that were most widely used at the time such as people, commoners, and the self, the term people was used as a general and abstract term, or as the only sole object of enlightenment. But it was in fact the term individual that contained a substantial meaning. The rights of the individual essentially meant the rights to protect his or her own body and property. In Korea, the concept of a modern nation (gungmin) was unable to be born failed to appear, and after 1905 the term minjok officially took its placereplaced this empty space. In the meantimewhile, the birth of the concealed yet stable individual was lay behind these terms.In this paper, the individual and modern people are not seen as points along a linear continuation continuum but are rather mutually exclusive. In the process of its formation and transformation, the notion of the individual does not necessarily conflict or is incompatible with the notion of state, but requires and constitutes the notion of state for the protection of the individual rights of life and property. Therefore, while the concepts of the individual and the people in the formation of Korean modernity did not always have an affinity for each one another, the concepts of the individual and the state were not necessarily exclusive.
Yeonae, a common word in 20th century East Asia, was a new term that was introduced via the West. Yeonae has a longer history as a term that specifically referred to romantic love between young men and women, but its potential as a broader term referring to love in general was limited by the social circumstances of the time. Love began to be legitimized as a social value with the arrival of Christianity, and its legitimization was confirmed in the explosion of patriotism in the 1890s and 1900s. Yeonae developed along with this legitimization of love, and it stimulated changes in mentality, discourse, and social customs. First, yeonae was considered a limited and conditioned passion that was necessary for nationalism, but through the 1910s, yeonae was explored as a new strategy for the exaltation of private life. Yeonae was founded on the authority of self, subjectivity, and sensibility, and was expressed at the level of social activities and relations. Yeonae connected the dynamics of self to the revolutionary power that was challenging the old order of Confucianism and family. Important changes, especially on the micro level, were made possible with the popularization of love. However, yeonae implied contradictory motivations, such as the absolutism of self and the glorification of love, antipathy to the old family structure and hopes for a new one, and it was ultimately exhausted when it failed to derive energy from that complexity itself.
The Hwarang segi manuscripts, made public in 1989 and 1995, were purportedly discovered and copied by Bak Changhwa while working in Japan for the Japanese government between 1933 and 1945. Korean scholars are deeply divided on the issue of authenticity because the manuscripts are fundamentally different than the later Goryeo period sources that are presumed to have used Gim Daemun’s (fl. 704) Hwarang segi as a source. The manuscripts provide genealogies for historical figures that contradict the traditional sources. This study addresses two terms and titles deployed in the text that are anachronistic: pungwolju (lord of hwarang training/customs) and jeongtong (orthodox transmission). Pungwolju is not attested in other documents until the mid-Joseon period, and jeongtong and its associated terms were not used outside of the context of political legitimation until the early ninth century at earliest. Also, since Bak never publicized his putative discovery of the Hwarang segi during his lifetime, the evidence best suggests that the manuscripts represent drafts of an unfinished Sino-Korean fiction written by Bak during the colonial period.
This article deals with the main ideas and activities of antigovernment student activists in South Korea in the 1980s. The article argues that the South Korean student movement displayed great inventiveness with the methods of struggle, as student activists sought various ways to circumvent the legal constraints imposed on them by the repressive Chun Doo-hwan regime (1980-1987). The organizing and politicizing activities of the student activists represented dynamic and creative responses to the limitations and possibilities of the particular political contexts in South Korea during the 1980s.