ISSN : 0023-3900
This study sets out to review South Korea’s ethical consumerism, whose main landscape can be characterized as embedded hybridity at the nexus of consumer justice movements and social economies. By emphasizing the analytical utility of institutional complementarity between consumer movements and social economies in contentious politics, this study pursues its expeditionary verification of the historical evolution of Korean ethical consumerism as a logical consequence of the anti-capitalist civic engagements against unjust and commercialized market systems. Taking Hansalim as a classic case of the Korean ethical cooperative enriches our understanding of the hybrid portfolio embedded in ethical consumerism. The Hansalim case addresses an interesting observation that the vaguer the status between consumers and citizens, the more positive embedded hybridity turns out to be. Accordingly, the politics of embedded hybridity relates to the magnitude of the grey zones, rather than a clear rift between black and white.