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The Politics of Institutionalizing Feminist Knowledge: Discussing "Asian" Women's Studies in South Korea

Title
The Politics of Institutionalizing Feminist Knowledge: Discussing "Asian" Women's Studies in South Korea
Authors
Kim, Eun-Shil
Ewha Authors
김은실
SCOPUS Author ID
김은실scopus
Issue Date
2010
Journal Title
ASIAN JOURNAL OF WOMENS STUDIES
ISSN
1225-9276JCR Link
Citation
vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 7 - 34
Keywords
Asian Women's Studiesinstitutionalization of women's studiesgender mainstreamingnation-stateglobalizationfeminist knowledge production
Publisher
EWHA WOMANS UNIV PRESS
Indexed
SSCI; SCOPUS; KCI WOS
Abstract
With the first undergraduate level women's studies course started in 1977 in Ewha Womans University, it has been more than 30 years since women's studies has been taught in universities and feminist research carried out in Korea. And the circumstances and frames of women's studies have been constantly changing. This paper seeks to explore the epistemic interface of Korean Women's Studies with respect to the West where it had its origin and "Asia" as a newly rising context for feminist knowledge production in South Korea. I explore three points in this paper. First, I point out changes in the epistemology of women's studies in Korea, from the time it was introduced and received within the context of Korea's modernization and development. This also relates to the epistemic framework of universality and particularity of Korean Women's Studies. Second, I deal with the rise of "Asia" as a new category for criticizing western knowledge systems or theoretical frameworks which had been considered universal and to show instances of how the category "Asia" is being used. Third, I suggest cross- cultural comparison as a research methodology to provincialize the West and think of Asia as a new community for our discussions. There are differences in understanding and appropriating the term, "Asia," at multiple levels even among feminist scholars involved in the discussion of "Asian Women's Studies" in South Korea. At the same time, feminist scholars are very much concerned that the globalization discourse, still based on the nation-state development model, has mobilized Asia as a partner in transnational corporate capital, business and as a market for more productivity and profit. In this context, I want to suggest that feminist scholars from Asian countries should discuss how we should construct questions about women in globalizing and re-regionalizing Asia and also how we should play a role in creating a new communicative space in the process of restructuring Asia. In order to do this, efforts need to be made to transform ways of inquiring about "women," based on the nation-state within the modem socio-political order. For research with mutual reference to grow, more joint projects across state boundaries need to be carried out and a new transnational comparative methodology needs to be created.
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일반대학원 > 여성학과 > Journal papers
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