Korea And Its Futures

Overview

Despite the passage of over forty years since the official end of the civil war in Korea, the north and the south sections of the country remain technically at war. Roy Richard Grinker suggests that a fundamental obstacle to peace on the peninsula is that South Korea has become a nation in which nearly all aspects of economic, political, and cultural identity are defined in opposition to North Korea. He further demonstrates that in spite of its status as a sacred goal for all Koreans, the idea of unification ...

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Overview

Despite the passage of over forty years since the official end of the civil war in Korea, the north and the south sections of the country remain technically at war. Roy Richard Grinker suggests that a fundamental obstacle to peace on the peninsula is that South Korea has become a nation in which nearly all aspects of economic, political, and cultural identity are defined in opposition to North Korea. He further demonstrates that in spite of its status as a sacred goal for all Koreans, the idea of unification threatens the world in which almost every South Korean has been born and raised.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A provocative sociocultural study . . .” —Library Jourbanal

“The subject of the unification of the Korean peninsula is crowded with the work of political scientists. The value of Grinker's book is that he introduces a fresh set of analytical tools, those of the anthropologist.” —Choice

“...thoughtful and provocative book....” —Jourbanal of Asian Studies

Choice
The value of Grinker's book is that he introduces a fresh set of analytical tools, those of the anthropologist.
Library Journal
In a provocative sociocultural study, Grinker (anthropology and international affairs, George Washington Univ.) unmasks traditional rhetoric, demonstrating that South Korea's "sacred" unification goal is clouded by a Korean homogeneity myth and met today with apprehension. Ostensibly desired, unification is risky, threatening South Koreans' known world. To them, unification means conquest, not acceptance of North Korea's impoverished and less modern culture. Divergent cultures, divided families, cultural symbols, and post-Cold War German unification are related issues all deftly explored by Grinker. This significant work on the "unfinished" war joins Bruce Cummings's Korea's Place in the Sun (LJ 2/15/97) to illuminate readers' understanding of today's Korea. Highly recommended for academic libraries.Margaret W. Norton, IMH H.S., Westchester, IL
Booknews
This book tackles the question of Korean reunification and the peace process within both countries' social and cultural contexts. Grinker (anthropology and international affairs, George Washington U.) argues that a fundamental obstacle to peace on the peninsula is that South Korea has become a nation in which nearly all aspects of economic, political, and cultural identity are defined in opposition to North Korea. He looks in detail at defectors, divided families, student protests, early education, and the psychological barriers to a unified Korea. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Booknews
This book tackles the question of Korean reunification and the peace process within both countries' social and cultural contexts. Grinker (anthropology and international affairs, George Washington U.) argues that a fundamental obstacle to peace on the peninsula is that South Korea has become a nation in which nearly all aspects of economic, political, and cultural identity are defined in opposition to North Korea. He looks in detail at defectors, divided families, student protests, early education, and the psychological barriers to a unified Korea. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312224721
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 2/5/2000
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Roy Richard Grinker is Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at George Washington University and Senior Asian Fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, DC.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Unification and the Disruption of Identity in South Korea
• Nation, State, and the Idea of Unification: Speaking of the Unspeakable
• North Korean Everyday Life on Display
• Loss, Mourbaning, and Resentment: Han
• Divided Families
• Elementary Forms of Korean Historical Representation: School Textbooks
• Democracy and Unification: Student Protests
• Dissidence and Border Violations
• The Defectors
• Conclusion: Preparing for Unification: The Problem of Complicity and Differences
• Bibliography
• Index

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