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South Koreans in the Debt Crisis The Creation of a Neoliberal Welfare Society

ISBN-10: 0822344815
ISBN-13: 9780822344810
Edition: 2009
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Description: South Koreans in the Debt Crisisis a detailed examination of the logic underlying the neoliberal welfare state that South Korea created in response to the devastating Asian Debt Crisis (19972001). Jesook Song argues that while the government  More...

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Book details

List price: $22.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 8/18/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 232
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

South Koreans in the Debt Crisisis a detailed examination of the logic underlying the neoliberal welfare state that South Korea created in response to the devastating Asian Debt Crisis (19972001). Jesook Song argues that while the government proclaimed that it would guarantee all South Koreans a minimum standard of living, it treated as most deserving of assistance those citizens perceived as embodying the neoliberal ideals of employability, flexibility, and self-sufficiency. Song demonstrates that the government was not alone in drawing distinctions between the "deserving" and the "undeserving" poor. Progressive intellectuals, activists, and organizations were also drawn into the neoliberal reform project. Song traces the circulation of neoliberal concepts throughout South Korean society, among government officials, the media, intellectuals, NGO members, and educated underemployed people working in public works programs. She analyzes the embrace of partnerships between NGOs and the government, the frequent invocation of a pervasive decline in family values, the resurrection of conservative gender norms and practices, and the promotion of entrepreneurship as the key to survival. Drawing on her experience during the Crisis as an employee in a public works program in Seoul, Song provides an ethnographic assessment of the efforts of state and civilians to regulate social insecurity, instability, and inequality through assistance programs. She focuses specifically on efforts to help two populations deemed worthy of state subsidies: the "IMF homeless," people temporarily homeless but considered employable, and the "new intellectuals" young adults who had become redundant during the Crisis but had the high-tech skills necessary to lead a transformed post-Crisis South Korea.

Rey Chow is the author, most recently, of Ethics After Idealism: Theory-Culture-Ethnicity-Reading.

Harry Harootunian is professor of history and director of East Asian Studies at New York University. He is author of Toward Restorationand Things Seen and Unseen. He lives in New York City.

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Emergence of the Neoliberal Welfare State in South Korea
The Seoul Train Station Square and the House of Freedom
"Family Breakdown" and Invisible Homeless Women
Assumptions and Images of Homeless Women's Needs
Youth as Neoliberal Subjects of Welfare and Labor
The Dilemma of Progressive Intellectuals
Coda: The Pursuit of Well-Being
Notes
Glossary
Bibliography

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