Nationalism and the Construction of Korean Identity

Out of print; not currently available

Nationalism and the Construction of Korean Identity book cover

Pai, Hyung-Il and Timothy R. Tangherlini, eds.
Korea Research Monograph 26
1998. 230 pp.
ISBN 1-55729-062-8

Those who study Korea are often struck by the abundance of symbols linked to the nationalist discourses surrounding the construction of Korean identity and culture. The invention, manipulation, and control of these symbols is a hotly contested battleground in the politics and ideology of representing Korea's past and present. Over the years, various groups have attempted to position themselves as the final authority in both what is Korean and what it means to be Korean. Using their particular perspectives, these groups have appropriated certain cultural expressions as part of the legitimizing process for their ultimately political projects. The essays assembled here highlight how scholars from different fields (including history, archaeology, language, literature, sociology, religion, folklore, and music) approach topics of Korean nationalism and the discursive battles over the definitions of "Korea" and "Koreanness" as well as the conflicting strategies different groups use to promote their particular view of Korea as the one vested with the most historical and political legitimacy.

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