In this research, we analyzed the origins and dynamics of Korean democratization movements in the 1980s and investigated the inheritance of them. There have been a lot of studies on the democratization movements. However, this study is of much value b ...
In this research, we analyzed the origins and dynamics of Korean democratization movements in the 1980s and investigated the inheritance of them. There have been a lot of studies on the democratization movements. However, this study is of much value because it was conducted in cultural perspective. We bring the question of "why culture" with the following reasons.
That social movements cannot be explained by objective structure, resources, or institutions without considering cultural phenomenon like identity, frame, ritual, hegemony, or symbol, made us conduct cultural studies on democratization movements. Cultural approach in social movement study has spread widely recently.
Since the June uprising, the historic turning point of Korean democracy, studies on the democratization movements in the 1980s have been conducted from various angles. First, studies based on the historical approach, classified periods of movements and described each period’s characteristics. Second, students drawing on the resource mobilization theory or political opportunity structure model inquired the organizations of democratization movements participants or solidarities of those organizations. Third, some scholars viewed democratization movements as class movement. Last, others analyzed counter hegemony or counter discourses of movement organizations or participants. They have limit not be able to analyze the operation of culture, which is important to generate and activate movements, because they only described or concentrated upon structural explanation.
To overcome the limitation, this research has three goals. First, we analyzed cultural dynamics of democratization movements intensively to overcome shortcomings of the given studies concentrated on political and structural analyses. Given social scientific studies on Korean democratization movements were based on that democratization movements is political process and political regime change and concentrated on the organizational development process of social movements. However, social movements are also ‘cultural’phenomena intervened by identity, frame, hegemony, or symbol, which cannot be explained only by objective structures or institutions.
Second, we analyzed dynamic relationship between collective culture of movement participants and movement mobilization process. Given cultural studies were based on Minjung discourse and persisted its justice not to objectify Minjung discourse. Even though their contribution to counter discourse studies on Korean democratization movements, they could not connect the Minjung discourse and the dynamics of social movement seriously. Thus we tried to analyze how ‘discourses’ including Minjung discourse and ‘behavior’ of movement participants are connected to each other applying conceptual tools (frame, historical memory, event, ritual, and hegemonic articulation) for cultural analysis of social movement to empirical studies progressively. We analyzed how cultural and social movement mechanisms interact with each other to trace the influence of ‘cultural’ practices on the ‘organizational’ development and mobilization, and vice versa, reintegration of events, which are experienced in the process of organizational practices, to social movement frame.
Third, we examined the cultural heritance of democratization movements. How the introduction of procedural democracy after June uprising, the collapse of socialistic states, and life-cycle effectschanged counter discourses including Minjung discourse is our interest in this research. The key questions are the influences of cultural frame developed through democratization movements on the identity change of Korean civil society after the June uprising, and what the characteristics of newly formed identity of Korean civil society after 1987 are.