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Korean Workers: The Culture and Politics of Class Formation
by Hagen Koo
Forty years of rapid industrialization have transformed millions of South Korean peasants and their sons and daughters into urban factory workers. Hagen Koo explores the experiences of this first generation of industrial workers and describes its struggles to improve working conditions in the factory and to search for justice in society.The working class in South Korea was ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 15th 2001 by Cornell University Press
(first published November 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 50)
I don't have a particular interest in Asia, but this book just blew me away. A full history of the labor movement in South Korea. The voices and personal stories of the workers themselves really come through, especially the young women who first left the rice farms for textile factories. At the same time, Koo does an excellent job of showing how the experiences of this particular country relate to the social transformations brought by industrialization everywhere.
In South Korea, a general Strike was occurred in1996-97. Why are the labor movements so active in South Korea, while labor movements are declined after 1980s in Europe and US? This book offers you many suggestions of the answer, by historical investigation of the relationship to former democratization movements, and demonstrates how labor activist were generated and how solidarity among general workers and activists were made and facilitated.
An attempt to do an E. P. Thompson on Korean labor leading up to 1987. Does Thompson one better by also integrating women. I was a little fuzzy on Koo's assertion that other East Asian labor forces were comparatively "docile." That may have been the case in the 1970s and 1980s, but there are historical processes of co-optation responsible for that...