Social Status in the Emergence of Modern Korea
By (author) Kyung Moon Hwang
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Beyond Birth by Kyung Moon Hwang
Book DescriptionThe social structure of contemporary Korea contains strong echoes of the hierarchical principles and patterns governing stratification in the Choson dynasty (1392-1910): namely, birth and one's position in the bureaucracy. At the beginning of Korea's modern era, the bureaucracy continued to exert great influence, but developments undermined, instead of reinforced, aristocratic dominance. Furthermore, these changes elevated the secondary status groups of the Choson dynasty, those who had belonged to hereditary, endogamous tiers of government and society between the aristocracy and the commoners: specialists in foreign languages, law, medicine, and accounting; the clerks who ran local administrative districts; the children and descendants of concubines; the local elites of the northern provinces; and military officials. These groups had languished in subordinate positions in both the bureaucratic and social hierarchies for hundreds of years under an ethos and organization that, based predominantly on family lineage, consigned them to a permanent place below the Choson aristocracy. As the author shows, the political disruptions of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, however, rewarded talent instead of birth. In turn, these groups' newfound standing as part of the governing elite allowed them to break into, and often dominate, the cultural, literary, and artistic spheres as well as politics, education, and business.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674016569
(235mm x 165mm x 40mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 7-Jan-2005
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Kyung Moon Hwang
History of Korea, Hardback (October 2016)
A concise, lively history of Korea, which explores the richness of Korean civilization from the ancient era through to the jarring transformation that resulted in two distinctive trajectories through the modern world. This new edition of a successful text brings it up-to-date with the latest scholarship and developments in Korea's history.
Rationalizing Korea, Paperback (February 2016)» View all books by Kyung Moon Hwang
Explores the institutional, ideological, and conceptual development of the modern state on the peninsula. This book analyzes the state's relationship to five social sectors, each through a distinctive interpretive theme: economy, religion, education, population, and public health.
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