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Alternative narratives of the 1980s South Korean labor movement : Worker identities in the “worker-student alliance”

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  • Alternative narratives of the 1980s South Korean labor movement
  • Kim, Keongil; Nam, Hwasook
  • Seoul National University(Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies)


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Title Alternative narratives of the 1980s South Korean labor movement
Similar Titles
Sub Title

Worker identities in the “worker-student alliance”

Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Kim, Keongil; Nam, Hwasook

Publisher

[Seoul]:Seoul National University(Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies)

Date 2012-12
Journal Title; Vol./Issue Seoul Journal of Korean Studies:vol. 25(no. 2)
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Social Development < Employment
Holding Seoul National University

Abstract

The role industrial workers played in the democracy movement in South Korea in the 1980s has been viewed as one of limited importance in the mainstream literature of modern Korean history, which highlights the role played by students and intellectuals. This assessment is based on a particular understanding of the nature of the 1980s labor movement, an understanding that celebrates the “worker-student alliance” as the cornerstone of the successful marriage between the minju (democratic) labor movement and the larger democracy movement. This article complicates this dominant discourse of the minju democracy movement by examining workers’ experiences and memories using newly available oral history and life history materials that help reveal the interior world of workers. By looking into the tension-ridden relationship between the two partners in the worker-student alliance of the early 1980s, the article seeks to illuminate the diverse and complicated ways female workers forged their identities in the radical labor movement of the era. (The rest omitted)