S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.44 No.1/3 (2015)
Collective Memory and Formation of the "Unconscious" Political Generation: Focusing on the Former Period Baby Boomers in Korea
- Ma, Kyounghee; Kim, Hyekyung
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.44 No.1, pp. 77-116
- This study aims to show how the collective memories of industrialization and dictatorship Korean baby boomers experienced in the formative period of political socialization have unconscious effect on Korea’s political process. Research findings include: First, baby boomers have preferences for strong leaders-moderate civil society relationship. This is in line with the positive collective memory of President Park Chung Hee, who led industrialization and remarkable economic growth based on his authoritarian rule. Second, political choice of baby boomers in their lifetime voting since 1987 manifested a regional cleavage between Honam and non-Honam. This shows the unconscious effect of their sense of belonging to a political party and regional identity, formed according to the division into Honam and non-Honam regions. Third, baby boomers from non-Honam attacked progressive or critical political parties and social forces in a manner similar to the way President Park Chung Hee ruled using anticommunism to justify violence and oppression against political opposition forces. The above discussions reveal the need to consider not just political generation as a social movement force, but also the “unconscious” political generation that influences political process by their political values and faith.