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Accepted Paper:

The Impossibility of Two Nations in (post-)Socialism: the Case of Koreas  
Hyun-Gwi Park (Kyung Hee University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper looks at North Korea through the lens of post-socialism. So far North Korea was not under purview of post-socialism, considered as an exception for everything in terms of social and political system including (post-)socialism. This proposed paper asks what entails such exceptions.

Paper long abstract:

This paper attempts at the question of comparison in understanding North Korea. In North Korean scholarship, anthropological approach tries to understand the temporality of North Korea in its continuation against the backdrop of collapse which marked the end of the Soviet socialism. As Hoon Song (2013) noted in his appraisal of works by Sonia Ryang and Heonik Kwon, the social relationship by kinship has been the key aspect in understanding North Korean temporality. However, these two prominent anthropolgists' work in almost opposite direction implicated a certain tacit comparison: two individual Koreas in Kwon's and dividual Korea in Ryang. Despite the importance of post-colonial critique on post-socialism, I would argue, current scholarship on North Korea has some difficulty in locating North Korea in that direction towards the crossroad between post-colonialism and post-socialism. My inroad for that direction is going to be another nation in former Soviet Union. In my earlier work, the sociality was central to understanding Russian Koreans' lives in (post-)socialism. By comparing this sociality with the political meaning of the social in North Korea, I would try to explores what constitutes the social in anti-colonial socialism.

Panel P086b
(Post)socialism as the post-social II
  Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -