S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.32 No.1/2 (2003)
South Korean Women Workers’ Labor Resistance in the Era of Export-Oriented Industrialization, 1970-1980
- Kim, Mi Kyoung
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.32 No.1, pp. 77-101
- This paper examines the structural forces behind South Korean women workers’' labor activism in the 1970s, an era of rapid export-oriented industrialization. Most of the labor strikes initiated by women occurred in the labor-intensive manufacturing sector, and they were in sharp contrast to the overall labor quiescence of male workers during the same period. The experiences of South Korean women refute widely held assumptions about the docility of Asian women workers. This case study suggests that women rebel when their lives undergo drastic changes under a set of antagonistic structural transformations. Women dialectically interact with the capitalist-patriarchal structure as conscious human agents, and the result of such interaction is their gender and class-based collective resistance.
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