Women in South Korea
New Femininities and Consumption
By Jongmi Kim
Routledge – 2015 – 208 pages
Series: ASAA Women in Asia Series
During the 1990s, Korea experienced a rapid transformation of its cultural identities as a result of globalisation, so much so that the period is remembered as an age of desire, consumption and globalisation. This rapid social and cultural change has prompted many young women to transform their identities, and in turn has resulted in new forms of social relations, which work to further transform gender identities and open up new spaces for engaging with the construction and contestation of femininities in South Korea.
This book provides a number of different ways of thinking about gender, media and culture by making a connection between the global and the local in order to show how the complexity of young women’s identities in the era of global media culture are constructed and contested within very specific times and spaces in South Korea. Data collected from interviews with groups of women, along with magazine and newspaper articles, reveal a number of key issues, including the visible transformation of experiences of plastic surgery and the development of a novel concept, the Missy, as a form of new femininities. The book presents a fresh perspective on theorising women’s identities, and is a useful contribution to media and culture studies, postcolonial studies, women and gender studies.
1. Introduction 2. New Femininities in the postcolonial context 3. Positioning Project: Recovering women’s voice in East Asia 4. Nether Western Nor Korean: Consuming Plastic Surgery in South Korea 5. Translation of Romantic Love and Marriage 6. Is the "Missy" New Femininity? 7. Conclusion: Women’s Voices and Transformative Identities
Jongmi Kim is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication at Coventry University, UK.