Mediating the South Korean Other
Representations and Discourses of Difference in the Post/Neocolonial Nation-State
Offers a new framework for understanding ethnic and racial difference in Korea
Multiculturalism in Korea formed in the context of its neoliberal, global aspirations, its postcolonial legacy with Japan, and its subordinated neocolonial relationship with the United States. The Korean ethnoscape and mediascape produce a complex understanding of difference that cannot be easily reduced to racism or ethnocentrism. Indeed the Korean word, injongchabyeol, often translated as racism, refers to discrimination based on any kind of “human category.” Explaining Korea’s relationship to difference and its practices of othering, including in media culture, requires new language and nuance in English-language scholarship.
This collection brings together leading and emerging scholars of multiculturalism in Korean media culture to examine mediated constructions of the “other,” taking into account the nation’s postcolonial and neocolonial relationships and its mediated construction of self. “Anthrocategorism,” a more nuanced translation of injongchabyeol, is proffered as a new framework for understanding difference in ways that are locally meaningful in a society and media system in which racial or even ethnic differences are not the most salient. The collection points to the construction of racial others that elevates, tolerates, and incorporates difference; the construction of valued and devalued ethnic others; and the ambivalent construction of co-ethnic others as sympathetic victims or marginalized threats.
Praise / Awards
“Mediating the South Korean Other introduces a new and different level of racial discourse and reveals the profound meaning of human difference under the unique context of the formally colonized South Korea and its current postcolonial struggles. It is very important to recognize a distinctive understanding of racial discourse other than the western-dominated concept of racism. The book actively engages with diverse scholars and perspectives to demonstrate how the South Korean media displays anthrocategorism and reinforces postcolonial/neocolonial racism.”
—Choi Hee An, Boston University
“This is the only book currently available that addresses the issue of race and ‘racism’ in postcolonial, contemporary Korea as it is manifested in film, theater, and television. The book is topical and timely, and it will serve as a teaching resource for university classes on modern and contemporary Korean studies.”
—Kyung Hyun Kim, University of California, Irvine
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