Seminar: Women's Citizenship and Civil Society in South Korea: Gender Politics in Labor Movements


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Brown Bag Seminar by POSCO Fellow Jaok Kwon

When: Sep 21 2011 - 12:00pm until Sep 21 2011 - 1:00pm
Where: John A. Burns Hall, Room 3012, East-West Center

Dr. Kwon's research attempts to reveal the gendered nature of civil society by situating these debates within the context of labor movements in South Korea. In Korea little attention has been paid to women’s movements in debates concerning civil society, despite women’s active involvement in civic movements. This seminar will explore the ironic aspects of ‘progressive’ social movements and rethink the growth of civil society from a gender perspective in post-democratization South Korea. Within the context of progressive social reform movements, democratization has been one of the most fundamental issues raised by civil activists. However, the gendered dimensions of women’s political activities have been marginalized within mainstream democratization debates. Gender issues addressed by women activists in labor movement organizations have been considered as weakening the basis of the laborers’ struggles for democratization. Ultimately, Dr. Kwon’s research attempts to expose how feminism both corresponds to, and is determined by, wider social movements.

Jaok Kwon is a lecturer in the graduate school of social sciences at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. Prior to joining Hitotsubashi University, she was a postdoctoral researcher in the Center of Social Stratification and Inequality of the graduate school of Arts and Letters at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. Her research interests have focused on gender and development, feminist theory, women’s movements, civil society, and gender politics in East Asian countries. She earned her Ph.D. at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. Her dissertation was titled “Rural Development and Gender in South Korea: The Interface between the State, Women’s Movements and Rural Women in the 1960-70s”. Her recent publication is "Forging Political Space for Women in Social Movements" (2011), which won an Asia-Pacific Women’s Studies Award from the Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies of Josai International University in Japan. 

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Cynthia Wasa Nakachi
Phone: (808) 944-7439
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