UBC Community, Partners, and Alumni Publications

Aesthetic constructions of Korean nationalism : Spectacle, Politics and History : [book review] Bae, Yooil Dec 1, 2012

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
52387-S25.pdf [ 55.09kB ]
Metadata
JSON: 52387-1.0045130.json
JSON-LD: 52387-1.0045130-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 52387-1.0045130-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 52387-1.0045130-rdf.json
Turtle: 52387-1.0045130-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 52387-1.0045130-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 52387-1.0045130-source.json
Full Text
52387-1.0045130-fulltext.txt
Citation
52387-1.0045130.ris

Full Text

Pacific Affairs: Volume 85, No. 4 – December 2012 830 for the unemployed. Of course, this model implies a significantly higher level of taxes, with potential adverse impacts on growth. The high share of non-regular workers also has negative implications for growth, as it promotes job turnover and discourages firm-based training and the accumulation of human capital. Moreover, as the book makes clear, it raises important equity concerns, as non-regular workers are paid substantially less, receive less training and are poorly covered by social insurance, even though their jobs are precarious. Addressing labour market dualism through a comprehensive approach that includes reducing employment protection for regular workers, increasing the social insurance coverage of non-regular workers and upgrading training programmes is essential to promote social cohesion. OECD, Paris, France  Randall S. Jones AESTHETIC CONSTRUCTIONS OF KOREAN NATIONALISM: Spectacle, Politics and History. Asia’s Transformations, 34. By Hong Kal. London; New York: Routledge, 2011. xix, 164 pp. (Figures.) US$133.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-415-60256-3. The Construction of Korean nationalism has recently attracted academic inquiries from several perspectives but the main emphasis has been on “textual analysis.” One of the important contributions of this book, Aesthetic Construction of Korean Nationalism, is that it incorporates the influence of visual imagination of the nation as reflected in sites of expositions, museums and urban spatial structures in the process of formulation of national consciousness in colonial and post-colonial periods. The book is divided into six chapters and the first three chapters mainly cover the role of a colonial legacy in Korean identity formation: 1915 and 1929 expositions and modernization of urban space of Seoul are analyzed. The remaining chapters show how construction of national museums, statues and urban redevelopment projects in the post-colonial period shaped the collective national identity. The central theme of this book is that modern Korean national identity has been formulated through “imaginary” interactive exchange and a comparison of modernity and progress under Japan’s colonial rule. In the first three chapters the book explores how the legacy of Japanese colonialism influenced the redefining of “Korea” during Japan’s rule and focuses on the “dual” process of national identity formation among Koreans. By comparing the image of new Japan and old Chŏsun through the array of industrial products from a hierarchical perspective, the 1915 exposition held in front of Korea’s central palace provided an “imaginable” form by imprinting the superiority and modernity of Japan in Koreans’ minds (chapter 1). Visual effects of the 1929 exhibition highlighting Seoul’s transformed urban Book Reviews 831 space, night scene and mobility were also intended to show the fantasy of a modernized Korea under colonial rule (chapters 2 and 3). However, the book argues that while the Japanese government intended to generate an illusion of “co-prosperity” or “harmonious development” it actually generated a different meaning of collective identity for Koreans. The expositions triggered a new vision of Korea’s modernization and generated a sense of national desire for self-determination. The exposition generated, among many intellectuals, the popular image of a new Korean nation in the global order. The other notable aspect of the monograph is that post-colonial regimes in Korea have continued to utilize exhibitions, national monuments, national heroes and urban spatial development as crucial inputs for the production of national subjectivity. For overcoming the Japanese colonial legacy and postwar economic difficulties, the Rhee administration used anti-Japanism and anti-communism in the nation-building process by constructing national heroes or building national monuments. Under the Park Chung Hee regime, “self-reliant” national economic development became a crucial framework for social engineering and his regime used memories of the colonial rule as a tool. Linking memories of the past and the present development has continuously helped in the construction of a sense of contemporary national citizenship and national direction in the age of globalization and economic liberalization. The projection of a new prosperous Korea as a collective identity through reimagined stories of national heroes and spatial coordination of the War Memorial of Korea (WMK), the Independence Hall and National Museum of Contemporary Art was a new framework for both military and civilian governments that sought to project a new departure from colonial and post-colonial military memories. The author has tried to explicate the intention of the City of Seoul behind city transformation projects such as Cheonggye Stream Redevelopment that address a new discourse on industrial development with balanced and sustainable growth. As such, memories of colonial and post-colonial periods have continuously been regenerated in visual forms to maintain ethnic unity and collective identity for the survival of Korea in today’s competitive environment. This book contributes to the study of Korea’s nation-building process and formation of a collective identity in modern Korea through analysis of visual effects of urban space and physical sites that symbolize Korean national consciousness. Despite this important contribution, this book could have presented concrete influence of the visualized forms of space, vision and power in a more convincing manner. Unlike previous studies on nationalism that highlighted the role of printed materials like newspapers in a formulation of “collective national subjectivity” (15), this book extends the scope of research to the area of popular imagination and visualization of nationalism by providing new interpretations of the hidden meaning of museums, statues and public squares in new urban space. However, this top-down interpretation Pacific Affairs: Volume 85, No. 4 – December 2012 832 does not provide adequate explanation of how general citizens actually formulated shared values and nationalist ideas. In the end, the author has also depended on Korean intellectuals’ understanding recorded in written texts. Methodologically, interviews with officials, curators and general citizens could have strengthened this research. Except for some stakeholders directly involved in the Cheonggye Redevelopment Project, many citizens of Seoul might think the project is nothing more than a public space for citizens or political fallout of the former Mayor Lee’s ambition for re-election. Linkage of past memories and present politics of nationalism cannot be configured convincingly without substantial field research. Despite such grounds for criticism, the book clearly contributes to an understanding of the “aesthetic meaning” of museums, statues and structures of urban space which has been largely ignored by social scientists. Singapore Management University, Singapore Yooil Bae PARTY SYSTEM CHANGE IN SOUTH INDIA: Political Entrepreneurs, Patterns, and Processes. Routledge Advances in South Asian Studies, 15. By Andrew Wyatt. London; New York: Routledge, 2010. xiii, 226 pp. (Tables, maps.) US$135.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-415-40131-9. With its multiplicity of political parties, spanning diverse ideologies and support bases, as well as subnational variation in the nature of party systems, India offers a rich environment for scholars of party politics. While the shift from Congress dominance to coalition politics at the national level has attracted considerable attention in recent years, there have been few detailed studies of party system change at the subnational level in India. By offering a systematic account of party system change in the southern state of Tamil Nadu since 1989, this book makes a useful contribution in filling this gap. Andrew Wyatt’s primary aim is to move away from standard approaches of party system change, which stress the role of sociological and institutional factors. Despite making defining political contributions such as aggregating opinion, mobilizing support, coordinating government functions and mediating disputes, Wyatt argues that the existing literature on party systems has largely ignored the role of entrepreneurial leaders. Seeking to correct this omission, the book makes the case that political leadership should be taken into account as a key independent variable in causing party system change. In particular, it focuses on the impact of political leadership in the context of formation of new parties. Through a combination of populism and subnational appeals, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and All INdia Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) have largely dominated the political scene in Tamil Nadu for the last four decades. The two Dravidian parties continue to be the main political players in the state, albeit in a changed context of multiparty

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.52387.1-0045130/manifest

Comment

Related Items