This study offers a theoretical outline for explaining the social foundations of the rule of law, with particular reference to South Korea. It proposes to explicate the conditions for the rule of law in terms of the play of power and to conceive the rule of law as a product of interplay between different forms of power instead of the withdrawal of power. In addition to the two forms of power identified in existing social theory.politico-juridical power and disciplinary power.the study advances a third notion of power, which the author terms “relational power.” It constructs the notion out of the amorphous force emanating from fluid personal relations and interpersonal commitment, which cultural studies of East Asia have discerned in terms of traditional affective ties or guanxi. The study maps permutations linking rule by law and the rule of law with each of the three kinds of power, and discusses how the three kinds of power complement and cancel out one another in strengthening or obstructing rule by law and the rule of law.
This study explores the source usage of three conservative and two progressive newspapers in Korea over the issue of beef imports from the United States. The purpose of the study is to understand the tendency of newspapers on both sides, which induced much turmoil, including huge demonstrations against the government in the middle of 2008. The results of a quantitative content analysis show that progressive newspapers employed more sources and presented the issue more negatively than conservative newspapers. In particular, progressive papers used more negative Information, especially from experts, NGOs, and citizens, while the conservative papers used more positive information. In terms of information credibility and valence, the progressive papers effectively used NGO sources, which are situated in the middle of source credibility order, to present a negative tone. The order of credibility is as follows: experts (most credible), followed by judiciary, administration, parliament, NGOs, commercial businesses, and citizens (least credible).
This study delineates the evolution of nonregular employment lawmaking in accordance with the strategic-relational theoretical perspective in order to shed light on how contested interactions concerning the nonregular employment protection legislation have evolved over the course of three governments—People’s Government, Participatory Government, and Practical Government. The legislative process and the enacted laws of nonregular employment protection have proven the materialized cohesion of actors’ strategies and contextual structure. In particular, the making of labor laws tends to involve a sharp interest contest among concerned actors. The government takes part in the political interaction of lawmaking through its “strategic selectivity.” The interests and strategic measures of the actors, including the government, are conditioned and even constrained by contextual situations, particularly economic and political circumstances. In this light, the interactive processes concerning the nonregular employment lawmaking are characterized as strategic-relational. As a consequence, the nonregular employment protection laws, to which actors’ interests and strategies as well as contextual structure have contributed, have the dual nature of employment protection and labor flexibility, which dissatisfy both organized labor and business groups.
With strong government thrusts toward agricultural trade liberalization to increase high-tech export volume, South Korea’s rural communities have had to brace for significant adjustments brought about by agrarian modernization. Rural “development” of the past few decades has failed to restructure the farming sector for international competition, largely due to favoritism toward big corporations and ineffective government policies characterized by top-down management and minimal communication efforts. Following such shortcomings, the considerable reduction in the number of farms and a widespread realization that reform has to come “organically” from within organized rural communities, rather than imposed by development, this paper argues for possible change through human agency and shows how one community is tackling “self-reform” toward a more sustainable life in a globalizing rural area, while trying to dodge the global reflexes from overemphasized modernity.
Women’s and feminist film practices in South Korea are normally considered to have emerged in the mid-1990s, when class issues and nationalism no longer drew serious attention from the country’s dominant intellectual discourse. This view tends to imply that women’s filmmaking practices were virtually nonexistent before the 1990s. In opposition to the conventional view, this work shows that women’s filmmaking with feminist intent arose in the 1970s in South Korea, contemporaneous with Western cine-feminism. It also argues that South Korean women’s films have developed a unique narrative discourse in which patriarchal male-centrism sustaining class politics and nationalism is challenged and deconstructed. To illustrate these points, this study calls attention to the fact that women’s filmmaking has taken place in the noncommercial independent cinema sector since the 1970s in South Korea. By examining four independent women filmmakers.Han Ok-Hee, Kim Soyoung, Byeon Yeong-Ju, and Ryu Mi-Rye.and their films, it maintains that independent women’s films have made continuous efforts to subvert male-centered ideologies, seeking new positions for women.
The heritage settings potentially play a significant role as a specific social space within which individuals are able to conceive, define, and reconstruct elements of national consciousness. This study involves an ethnographicbased examination of ways in which elements of the past are utilized to redefine and reaffirm national (cultural) identity within the context of contemporary South Korean society, where traditional norms and values are arguably influenced by globalized processes, norms, and values. It theoretically addresses and empirically substantiates the need for comprehensive and analytical insights concerning heritage and articulations of national identity, focusing on the intermediating roles of heritage tourism in establishing and facilitating the individual and contextual processes of identity reconstruction. Critical focus is placed on contextualizing ways in which South Korean nationals, particularly younger generations, encounter emotional attachments to the nation during heritage tourism experiences in Changdeokgung palace in Seoul. This study employs a range of ethnographic strategies including in-depth interviews and friendly conversations as an efficient tool to gain intimate and insightful knowledge of the specific social setting.
The Dr. Hwang scandal caused a great deal of concern and debate in Korean society. In response, the Korean bioethics law passed in January 2004 and was promulgated in January 2005. It has since received intense criticism and has gone through four partial modifications. This paper analyzes the problems of the Korean bioethics law regarding the donation of and research on human eggs. The bioethics law allows couples to have a child using the reproductive cells of another woman. It also allows cloning and other manipulations of human embryos. These allowances raise many ethical problems that need immediate attention and correction. In response to this situation, this paper asserts that institutional measures should be put in place to prevent criminal activities, and any law on bioethics must put the value and dignity of human beings at the center and regulate scientific activities in service of human beings.