Woman as the Citizen and the Country Defender: Shifts in the Historiographic Images of Femininity during the Cold War Mobilization Era in the Republic of Korea (1961–1979) Cover Image
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Kobieta – obywatelka, obrończyni kraju: metamorfozy wizerunku historiograficznego w dobie zimnowojennej mobilizacji w Korei Południowej (1961–1979)
Woman as the Citizen and the Country Defender: Shifts in the Historiographic Images of Femininity during the Cold War Mobilization Era in the Republic of Korea (1961–1979)

Author(s): Agnieszka Smiatacz
Subject(s): Cultural history, Studies of Literature, Other Language Literature, Philology
Published by: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: image of femininity; citizen’s identity; emancipation of women; ideological mobilization; industrialization in Korea
Summary/Abstract: In the history of Korea, the 20th century did not just witness the increase in the possibilities of social and professional advancement for women, but it also saw the opening of a public space where women could voice their opinions and partake in social debate on national progress and state development. Under such circumstances the Korean image of femininity evolved rapidly and went beyond the traditional sphere of motherhood and married life to embrace new women roles, be it a defender of the country amidst the storms of war, a worker engaged in Korea’s economic development, or an educator rationalizing and explaining state reforms to people in their closest environment. Those new roles Korean women had to embrace were entangled in diverse contradictions and potentially conflict-inducing, as it openly compromised on Confucian conservative values for the sake of capitalist modernization and the pursuit of economic miracle. The newly discovered function of femininity was eagerly employed in propaganda campaigns, and social activities of women were strictly supervised and moderated for the ultimate purposes of the state. Paradoxically, for Korean women the side effect of this control was the eventual delay of their own emancipation, particularly because of the Confucian tradition-derived puritanism promoted simultaneously by the state. This paper scrutinizes the nature of diverse social campaigns mobilizing Korean women to support the country, as well as the shift s in perceptions of feminine roles by the state and society, induced by makeshift images created for practical application by the propaganda machine.

  • Page Range: 141-164
  • Page Count: 24
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • Language: Polish