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Korean Modernism, Modern Korean Cityscapes, And Mass Housing Development: Charting The Rise Of Ap'At'ū tanji Since The 1960s

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Chapter Summary

Completely unknown to Korean city-dwellers before the 1960s, large apartment complexes dominate South Korean cityscapes today. How did Western-style housing blocks migrate to Korea on such a large scale? These are issues in the relationships between the development of apʾatʾŭtanji and South Korean modernisation. This chapter examines these issues in a Korea context, through an analysis centred on a macro-geographic approach allowing the interpretation of the cityscape. It first discusses the origin of the apʾatʾŭtanji model, which takes its roots in intertwined modernist Western theories filtered through Japanese mediation during the colonial period and then processed by local post-colonial power structures. The chapter then shows how the ‘Koreanised’ apartment complex was a central element of fashioning the modern Korean cityscape and urban society during the 1970s and 1980s. Finally, it attempts to reconsider the usually Eurocentric concepts of ‘modernism’ and ‘modernity’.

Keywords: apʾatʾŭtanji; housing policy; Korean modernism; modern Korean cityscapes



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