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Youth for NationCulture and Protest in Cold War South Korea$
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Charles R. Kim

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824855949

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824855949.001.0001

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Wholesome Modernization

Wholesome Modernization

(p.43) Chapter Two Wholesome Modernization
Youth for Nation

Charles R. Kim

University of Hawai'i Press

The postwar crisis encompassed a cultural crisis wrought by wartime devastation and the rapid influx of Euro-American things and ways. Among mainstream intellectuals, wholesome modernization was the preferred approach for overcoming this cultural crisis. This discursive schema was built upon the premise that South Koreans should adhere to a hybrid vision of culture that preserved the core elements of indigenous tradition, while incorporating selected, modernizing aspects of Euro-American culture. This chapter explores the women’s magazine Yŏwŏn alongside the popular films The Love Marriage (Chayu kyŏrhon, 1958) and A Female Boss (Yŏsajang, 1959) in order to demonstrate that this hybrid culture vision deliberately promoted the maintenance of male privilege for the youth generation. The cultural conservatism of wholesome modernization was multiply determined by historical and contemporary influences.

Keywords:   Americanization, film, gender, identity, marriage, modernization theory, patriarchy, postcolonial, romantic comedy, tradition

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