Getting Married in Korea: Of Gender, Morality, and Modernity / Edition 1

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Overview

This work explores what it means to be modern and what it means to be Korean in a culture where courtship and marriage are often the crucible in which notions of gender and class are cast and recast. Touching on a number of important issues—identity, romantic love, women's work, marriage negotiations, and wedding ceremonies—Laurel Kall gives us a new appreciation for how Koreans have adapted this pivotal social practice to the astounding changes of the past century. Kall atted her first Korean wedding in 1970, soon after she arrived in the country with the Peace Corps. Years later, as a seasoned anthropologist, she began interviewing both working-class and middle-class couples, matchmakers, purveyors of dowry goods, and proprietors of wedding halls. She consulted etiquette handbooks and women's magazines and analyzed cartoons, photographs, and weddings themselves. The result is an engaging account of how marriage matches are made, how families proceed through the rites, how they finance ceremonies and elaborate exchanges of ritual goods, and how these practices are integral to the construction of adult identities and notions of ideal women and men. The book is also a reflection on what it means to write "Korea" in a complex and ever-changing social milieu.

Author Biography: Laurel Kall is Curator of Asian Ethnographic Collections at the American Museum of Natural History. Her previous books include Shamans, Housewives, and Other Restless Spirits: Women in Korean Ritual Life (1985) and The Life and Hard Times of a Korean Shaman: Of Tales and the Telling of Tales (1988).

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Offers a curriculum for adults and children with severe learning disabilities, or with communication problems, based on the story of Odysseus. Interactive activities involving movement and physical contact use a multi-sensory approach to help students develop communication skills. Includes equipment lists, a mailing address for slides from the National Gallery, and material on record-keeping, with sample forms. Can be used in schools, social education centers, or group homes, and to facilitate interaction between groups of people of different abilities. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520202009
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 269
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurel Kendall is Curator of Asian Ethnographic Collections at the American Museum of Natural History. Her previous books include Shamans, Housewives, and Other Restless Spirits: Women in Korean Ritual Life (1985) and The Life and Hard Times of a Korean Shaman: Of Tales and the Telling of Tales (1988).

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Why Study Weddings? A Confessional Introduction 1
2 A Wedding in Righteous Town 27
3 A Rite of Modernization and Its Postmodern Discontents 52
4 Transformations: The Construction of Courtship in Twentieth-Century Korea 85
5 Requesting Marriage 120
6 Ceremonious Goods 155
7 Betrothal Gifts and "Bothersome Custom" 191
Conclusion 221
Bibliography 231
Index 249
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