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Troubles of the “New Women” in the Emergence of Modern Korea: Focusing on the Interrelationship between “Women’s Liberation” and the Image of “Wise Mother and Good Wife”

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Chapter Summary

This paper investigates the formation of the New Women's identity and women's desires in the historical context of early modern Korea where nationalism and colonialism were competing forces. The paper pays particular attention to the asymmetric combination of the concepts of "women's liberation" and the "wise mother and good wife" in Korea in the period of modernization. It examines the opposition to these by the efforts of the "New Women". In Korea, the notion of being a "wise mother and good wife" in nationalistic discourse, the new agenda for women, was combined with modern concepts such as "the equality of men and women" and "the natural rights of man" from Western political ideologies. The paper covers a few facets that the "new woman" phenomenon engendered and serves as a rough historical survey.

Keywords: modern Korea; mother; New Women; wife; women's liberation



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