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The Korean War and the politics of memory : The Kangbyon incident

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  • The Korean War and the politics of memory
  • Lee, Soo-Jung
  • Seoul National University(Center for Social Sciences)


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Title The Korean War and the politics of memory
Similar Titles
Sub Title

The Kangbyon incident

Material Type Articles
Author(English)

Lee, Soo-Jung

Publisher

[Seoul]:Seoul National University(Center for Social Sciences)

Date 2013
Journal Title; Vol./Issue Korean Social Sciences Review(KSSR):vol. 3(no. 2)
Pages 28
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Government and Law < Internal Conflict
Holding Seoul National University

Abstract

During the Korean War, thousands of civilians died in a fight between right- and leftwing forces in the county of Kangbyoŏn, in North Korea, in an incident that South Koreans and North Koreans interpret differently. In this article I examine how South Korea’s understanding of this traumatic event has shaped the collective memory and identity of people from Kangbyŏn and, in turn, has generated the individual memories and identities of those people. By exploring how shifting narratives of the post–Cold War era (the late 1990s and the early 2000s) have influenced both collective and individual memories and identities, I analyze how Cold War–era memories of the Korean War produced “division subjects” with identities based on the “us versus them” mentality, and how these people have negotiated their memories and identities during the period in which a hegemonic political order based on anticommunism faltered.