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

Itaewon as an Alien Space within the Nation-State and a Place in the Globalization Era

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2004, v.44 no.3, pp.34-64

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Abstract

This article is about the fieldwork research findings on the ways place-making can be political in discussions of peoples lived experiences, identities, and powers surrounding the neighborhood Itaewon, located in Seoul. Itaewon became a deterritorialized space due to the geopolitical exigencies of the Cold War period and came to be acknowledged as a foreign space within Korea. It was a consumer space that met the desires and needs of American soldiers, transient subjects who consumed women and imitation goods. At the same time there were Koreans who were recreational business owners and merchants keeping their identity referent to Itaewon. And to some Koreans, it also signified a new window through which they could access exotic, American culture. So two subjects of Itaewon, both foreigner and Korean, were in a co-dependant relationship with shared interests during the Cold War, when Itaewon was the only alien space within Korea. But in the transnational globalization era, in which various exotic frontier zones have been created, residents standing in their localities and foreigners heading toward diverse alien spaces have been practicing different politics of place.

keywords
Itaewon deterritorialized space place American military base transnational spacePrologueIn discussions of globalization as an era in which temporal and spatial distances are becoming extinct place has recently risen as a new topic of interest. Itaewon deterritorialized space place American military base transnational spacePrologueIn discussions of globalization as an era in which temporal and spatial distances are becoming extinct place has recently risen as a new topic of interest.

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