After the Korean War, wholesome modernization and the student vanguard were central to South Korea’s postcolonial discourse on how (South) Koreans should move beyond the colonial era and the postwar crisis. Built upon pre-1945 nationalist discourse, this gendered pair of discursive schemas was specifically geared to producing female and male youth protagonists for the collective enterprise of nation building and development. This book explores the postwar dissemination of the wholesome and vanguard schemas and documents their usages in the landmark of the April 19th Revolution (1960) and the earliest phases of Park Chung Hee’s rule (1961-1979). The two schemas remained influential in national politics and society up through the 1980s. The introduction also discusses South Korea’s place in the global sixties.
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