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The Terror of the Crowd: The Riot as a Form of Street Politics in Colonial Korea 1920-29

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Authors
Ki, You-Jung
Issue Date
2020-10-31
Publisher
Institute for Japanese Studies, Seoul National University
Citation
Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol.6 No.1, pp. 173-200
Keywords
colonial crowdcolonial mass politicspolitics of the eventthe March First MovementJapanese settlers in Korea
Description
This article is a revised and translated version of the author’s Korean article “Singminji kunjung ŭi ‘kilgŏri chŏngch’i’ wa singminja ŭi kongp’o (1920-1929),” published in Toshi yŏn’gu: yŏksa-sahoe-munhwa [Korean journal of urban history] 19 (2018) with the permission of the Tosisa Hakhoe [The Korean Society for Urban History].
Abstract
This study examines the “Korean crowd riots” that occurred in 1920s colonial Korea. By viewing these riots as a result of the collective experience generated through the March First Movement, this paper progresses beyond generalized colonialist and modernist discourses to specifically analyze the internal dynamics of the riots that occurred during the period. Colonial authorities and Japanese settlers in Korea during the early 1920s perceived a clear change in Korean society following the March First Movement. More specifically, clashes with colonial authorities or Japanese settlers in daily life now tended to provoke a collective riotous response—a kind of “crowd politics.” To analyze the crowd riots, this study employs two concepts: the “politics of the event” and the “politics of numbers.” It argues that as spontaneous events, Korean crowd riots constituted political behavior and demonstrated the potential social power underlying the institutional/semi-institutional spaces of politics in 1920s colonial Korea.
ISSN
2384-2849
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/171277
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Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원)Institute for Japanese Studies(일본연구소)Seoul Journal of Japanese StudiesSeoul Journal of Japanese Studies vol.6 no.1(2020)
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