South Korea under Compressed Modernity
Familial Political Economy in Transition
Routledge – 2012 – 180 pages
The condensed social change and complex social order governing South Koreans’ life cannot be satisfactorily delineated by relying on West-derived social theories or culturalist arguments. Nor can various globally eye-catching traits of this society in industrial work, education, popular culture, and a host of other areas be analyzed without developing innovative conceptual tools and theoretical frameworks designed to tackle the South Korean uniqueness directly.
This book provides a fascinating account of South Korean society and its contemporary transformation. Focusing on the family as the most crucial micro foundation of South Korea’s economic, social, and political life, Chang demonstrates a shrewd insight into the ways in which family relations and family based interests shape the structural and institutional changes ongoing in South Korea today. While the excessive educational pursuit, family-exploitative welfare, gender-biased industrialization, virtual demise of peasantry, and familial industrial governance in this society have been frequently discussed by local and international scholarship, the author innovatively explicates these remarkable trends from an integrative theoretical perspective of compressed modernity. The family-centered social order and everyday life in South Korea are analyzed as components and consequences of compressed modernity.
South Korea under Compressed Modernity is an essential read for anyone studying Contemporary Korea or the development of East Asian societies more generally.
'Chang Kyung-sup, professor of sociology at Seoul National University, introduces a concept called 'compressed modernity' as a key tool to unlock the Korean society and its contemporary transformation.
At the core of the foundations that prop up Korea's economic, social, and political life, Chang argues, is none other than the family. He offers an insightful perspective about how family relations and family-oriented values shape the structural and institutional changes in Korea today.
With an integrative theoretical perspective of compressed modernity, Chang dissects the family-centered social order and everyday life in Korea in a way that sheds light on the country's remarkable transformations.' The Korea Herald
1.Compressed Modernity and Its Familial Basis 2. Accidental Pluralism 3. The Social Investment Family and Educational Politics 4. The Nuclear Family and Welfare Politics 5. Women’s Labor and Gendered Industrialization 6. The Peasant Family and Rural-Urban Relations 7. Chaebol: the Logic of Familial Capitalism 8. Politics of Defamiliation 9. The Sustainability Crisis of Familial Modernity
Chang Kyung-Sup, a Ph.D. from Brown University, is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, both at Seoul National University.