S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Dept. of Anthropology (인류학과) Korean Anthropology Review Korean Anthropology Review Vol.4 (2020)
“LGBT, We are Living Here Now”: Sexual Minorities and Space in Contemporary South Korea
- Kang, Ohreum
- Issue Date
- Korean Anthropology Review, Vol.4, pp. 1-37
- This article was originally published in 『비교문화연구』 [Cross-cultural studies] 21(1): 5-50; Translated into English by Grace Payer.
- This research begins with a critique of the “tolerant” attitude towards sexual minorities created by the politics of recognition. In the space of media, sexual minorities are represented as possessing distinctive tastes, such as in the stereotype “sophisticated gays.” Based on these ideas, media often represents sexual minorities as creators of new products, or as people whose individual preferences we must be “considerate” of. This kind of consideration and tolerance regards sexual minorities as consumers who have chosen a particular lifestyle and who belong to private space. Such images may further isolate sexual minorities. Public space, despite being fixed in heterosexual norms, has been constructed as a value-neutral space. The predominance of heterosexuality along with the exclusion of non-heterosexuality and the power of selection are quietly excused. Further, when the tastes of some gay men come to represent sexual minorities as a whole, the existence of women sexual minorities grows even fainter. That is, the lives of the majority of sexual minorities—lived in everyday spaces and not coinciding with the images produced in media—are excluded from the boundaries of “recognition.”