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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Under the Gaze of the American Other

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2004, v.44 no.1, pp.199-220

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Abstract

This paper addresses Korean perceptions of America using Lacanianpsychoanalysis. Throughout modern Korean history, an idealizedimage of America has played the role of Koreas ego-ideal. While theU.S. has provided South Korea with its form of government and thefoundation of a capitalist economy, it has also defined the trajectory ofmany aspects of modern Korean history since Liberation in 1945. Fur-thermore, a series of historical experiences have caused significantchanges in Americas image. Today, the U.S. appears even as theobscene superego, the other side of the Other. These aspects of Americacorrespond to the three father figures presented by Lacan: the idealizedimaginary father, the symbolic father, and the obscene and violent realfather. Shifting views of America as the Other have been reflected inKorean films. In Spring in My Hometown and Phantom: The Subma-rine, the oppressive aspect of the American Other takes the figure of theobscene real father. In Joint Security Area, the split between the Ameri-can Other and the Other of a unified Korean national community is farmore manifest. Today, Korean subjects are still not free from the gazeof the American Other and the determining power of the U.S.

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America the Other fantasy father Lacan psychoanaly-sis filmJoo Eunwoo (Ju Eun-u) is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Gender Research Seoul National University. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Seoul National Uni-versity. His publ America the Other fantasy father Lacan psychoanaly-sis filmJoo Eunwoo (Ju Eun-u) is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Gender Research Seoul National University. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Seoul National Uni-versity. His publ

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