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[집담회] Locating Feminism beyond Gender and Culture
<<서울대여성연구소 제48차 집담회 안내>>

Locating Feminism beyond Gender and Culture:
A Case of the Family-head System in South Korea

On February 3, 2005, the Constitutional Court in South Korea ruled that the family-head (hoju) system was incompatible with the Constitution. South Korean feminists had criticized the family-head system, arguing that it represented a typical patriarchy under which women were discriminated against in family relationships. In contrast, the advocates of traditional Korean culture—the “Confucians”—had contended that the family-head system was a Korean cultural practice and that custom should be preserved regardless of its patriarchal nature. This controversy between the feminists and the Confucians in the case of the family-head system resembles a gender-culture dilemma, one to which current feminist scholarship has paid special attention. In this paper, however, I will argue that the binary understanding of gender and culture, which is a source of the dilemma, inadequately accounts for the case of the family-head system. By analyzing the feminist family-law reform movement and by centering on the feminist logic and the feminist rhetoric developed in the movement, I will show how the relationship between gender and culture is not simply oppositional. I will argue that any rigorous comprehensive analysis of the case must account for the case’s contextual mechanisms. Only in this way can we find compatibility between the demand for gender equality and the quest for cultural preservation.

발표자: 김 희 강(경희대 인류사회재건연구원 학술연구교수)
일시: 5월 25일 오후 3시
장소: 서울대 사회과학대학(16동) 427호


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