Korean Workers: The Culture and Politics of Class Formation
Forty years of rapid industrialization have transformed millions of South Korean peasants and their sons and daughters into urban factory workers. Hagen Koo explores the experiences of this first generation of industrial workers and describes its struggles to improve working conditions in the factory and to search for justice in society.The working class in South Korea was born in a cultural and political environment extremely hostile to its development, Koo says. Korean workers forged their collective identity much more rapidly, however, than did their counterparts in other newly industrialized countries in East Asia. This book investigates how South Korea's once-docile and submissive workers reinvented themselves so quickly into a class with a distinct identity and consciousness.Based on sources ranging from workers' personal writings to union reports to in-depth interviews, this book is a penetrating analysis of the South Korean working-class experience. Koo reveals how culture and politics simultaneously suppressed and facilitated class formation in South Korea. With chapters exploring the roles of women, students, and church organizations in the struggle, the book reflects Koo's broader interest in the social and cultural dimensions of industrial transformation.
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Introduction The Making of the Korean Working Class
Work and Authority in Korean Industry
A Martyr Women Workers and Churches
Workers and Students
Worker Identity and Consciousness
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areas authoritarian became capitalists chaebol Chun Chunggye class consciousness cultural Daewoo Daewoo Apparel democratic union movement demonstrations early East Asian East Asian tigers economic educational employers export-oriented industrialization female workers FKTU groups Hyundai Group Hyundai Heavy Industries Hyundai workers ideology important Inchon independent unions industrial workers intellectuals KCTU kongsuni Korean factory workers Korean industrial Korean labor movement Korean workers Korean working class Korean working-class kyohoe labor activists labor conflicts labor disputes labor force labor laws labor struggles large number Lee Tae-ho light manufacturing major male workers ment militant minjung mobilization NCTU nodong nodongja occurred organizational Park participated percent period police political pungmul regime represented role sahoe sector Seoul social society solidarity struggle South Korean labor status strategy strike structure students-turned-workers tion Trade Unions Ulsan union leaders union members wage white-collar workers women workers Wonpoong worker identity Worker Struggle working-class movement