Echoes of the Past, Epics of Dissent: A South Korean Social Movement

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University of California Press, Nov 14, 1996 - Social Science - 467 pages
Echoes of the Past, Epics of Dissent, the story of a South Korean social movement, offers a window to a decade of tumultuous social protest in a postcolonial, divided nation. Abelmann brings a dramatic chapter of modern Korean history to life—a period in which farmers, student activists, and organizers joined to protest the corporate ownership of tenant plots never distributed in the 1949 Land Reform.

From public sites of protest to backstage meetings and negotiations, from farming villages to university campuses, Abelmann's highly original study explores this movement as a complex process always in the making. Her discussion moves fluently between past and present, local and national, elites and dominated, and urban and rural. Touching on major historical issues, this ethnography of dissent explores contemporary popular nationalism and historical consciousness.
 

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Contents

Ethnography and Social Movements
1
Theorizing Social Movements New and Old
2
Book Geography
7
Finding the Field
9
Where I Fit
13
Reckoning the Era
14
Three Rice Paddy Stories
16
The Minjung Imaginary Memory and Mobilization
20
The Farmers Divide
131
The Settlement
134
Minjung Identity versus Rising in the World
136
Practicing the Minjung Ideology Organizers in the Fields
139
Farmers Meet Organizers
140
Nonghwal Notes
149
Nonghwal Transformations
155
Nonghwal Reflections
161

Characterizing the Minjung Discourse
23
Minjung and the 1894 Tonghak Peasant Revolution
27
Minjung and the Kochang Tenant Farmers Movement
35
The Practices of Protest A Month in Seoul
39
The Periphery Meets the Citizenry
41
The Message and the Media
47
The Daily Life of Protest
58
External Forces
64
Protest Violence Escalating Confrontation
69
Faltering Hegemony
75
Historical Tribulations and Trials
77
The Model Estates
78
Class and Nation
81
The Early Haeri Estate
84
The Land Reform Era
89
Land Reform and the Samyang Plots
92
PostLiberation Dissent and the Korean War
97
Farmers Figure the Land
106
Capitalism and Democracy on Trial CorporateFarmer Dialogues
111
National Capitalists and Korean Egalitarianism
113
Koreanstyle Democracy
115
CorporateFarmer Dialogues an Overview
118
Setting the Tone
119
Contesting Democracy and Dabbling in the Past
123
Legality versus Legitimacy
126
Settling the Dissent
166
Village Variables Variable Villages
172
The Knobby Path and Village Discord
173
The Broken Bow and the Straight Path
182
The Villages Compared
188
Movement Participation Compared
195
Salt Farming
199
Farmer Mobilization in PostLiberation South Korea
202
The 1960s and 1970s
204
Farmers Movements in the 1960s and 1970s
213
Farmers Movements in the 1980s
216
Into the 1990s
221
Conclusion Post1987 Epics of Dissent
226
Getting Down to Earth in Art and Activism
228
The New Generation and Civil Movements
231
The New Nonghwal?
236
Kochang Activists into the 1990s
244
Epochs and Epics
247
CHRONOLOGY
249
THE COLONIAL PERIOD NORTH CHOLLA PROVINCE PEASANT PROTEST AND SAMYANG
251
REGIONAL PARTICIPATION IN THE MOVEMENT
254
NOTES
259
BIBLIOGRAPHY
279
INDEX
293
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Nancy Abelmann is Assistant Professor in the departments of Anthropology and East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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