Under Construction: The Gendering of Modernity, Class, and Consumption in the Republic of Korea

Hardback: $52.00
ISBN-13: 9780824824075
Published: September 2001
Paperback: $22.00
ISBN-13: 9780824824884
Published: September 2001

Additional Information

216 pages
  • About the Book
  • Since the late 1960s, the lives of south Koreans have been reconstructed on the shifting ground of urbanization, industrialization, military authoritarianism, democratic reform, and social liberalization. Class and gender identities have been modified in relation to a changing modernity and new definitions of home and family, work and leisure, husband and wife.

    Under Construction provides an illuminating portrait of south Koreans in the 1990s–a decade that saw a return to civilian rule, a loosening of censorship and social control, and the emergence of a full-blown consumer culture. It shows how these changes impacted the lives of Korean men and women and the very definition of what it means to be “male” and “female” in Korea. In a series of provocative essays written by Korean and Western scholars, we see how Korean women and men actively engage, and at times openly contest, the limitations of gender.

    Under Construction is part of a decisive turn in the anthropology of gender–from its early quest for the causes of female subordination to a finely tuned analysis of the historical, cultural, and class-based specificities of gender relations and the tension between gender as an ideological construct and as a lived experience. Firmly grounded in the political and economic history of south Korea, this long-awaited volume fills an important gap in Korean studies and East Asia gender studies in English.

    Contributors: Nancy Abelmann, Cho Haejoang, Roger L. Janelli, Laurel Kendall, June Lee, So-Hee Lee, Seungsook Moon, Dawnhee Yim.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Laurel Kendall, Editor

      Laurel Kendall is Curator in Charge of Asian Ethnographic Collections in the Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History, and also teaches at Columbia University.
  • Supporting Resources