Graduation Year

2022

Document Type

Senior Thesis

Degree

Bachelor of Arts

Primary Major

History

Primary Minor

Communications and Media Studies

Second Minor

Visual Studies

Thesis Advisor

Jordan Lieser, PhD

Abstract

Between 2000 and 2022, South Korean popular music and the accompanying entertainment industry contributed to a unique solidarity among young Korean women, whilst also perpetuating harmful stereotypes. The widespread popularity of all-girl music groups from Korea has motivated women around the world, including in Korea itself, to stand on their own and establish recognition without the influence of men. This relatively new era in Korean feminist thought requires historical contextualization in order to fully appreciate and comprehend its impact on a globalized society. The evolution of feminist thought in South Korea encompasses the accumulation of knowledge from various conversations on their struggle for modernity, as well as social and political developments before and during the Colonial Period, post-Korean War democratization, and the 2000s amid various economic crises. By periodizing gender history within South Korea over the last 600 years, this project examines the impact of male proprietorship, hegemonic femininity, and various socioeconomic changes across multiple eras of Korean history. A deconstruction and analysis of an imbalanced society, which has become segregated by sex, will occur. Then, through an analysis on how the nurturing of a Confucius ideology cultivated a modern, industrialized society with male dominated tendencies and poor responses to women’s rights, topics such as the #MeToo Movement, international feminist theories, the Korean Women’s Movement, and modern Korean girl groups will be used to understand Korea’s political and social patriarchy and the ways women’s rights are being fought for and communicated by way of its popular media today.

COinS