Center for Korean Studies faculty member Jun Yoo of the Department of History will present a lecture titled Ã¢â‚¬Å“The PaekhwajÃ…Âm (Department Store) and the Politics of Consumption in Colonial KoreaÃ¢â‚¬Â Thursday, November 2, 2006, at 3:00 p.m. in Crawford Hall 115. This presentation is co-sponsored by the UH-MÃ„Ânoa Department of Anthropology and the Center for Korean Studies.
In the lecture, Professor Yoo will examine the paekhwajÃ…Âm (department store) within the context of an emerging consumer culture that started reshaping the urban landscape in the late 1920s.Ã‚Â His studyÃ‚Â attempts to understand the rapidly changing metropolis built around visual spectacles (modern buildings, public conveyances, banks, department stores, and cafes), new people (the Ã¢â‚¬Å“crowd,Ã¢â‚¬Â consumers, and urban workers), and movement (shopping, strolling, gazing, and the circulation of commodities).
As these ilsang Ã…Âi konggan (everyday spaces) proliferated, they not only blurred the boundaries between public and private spaces, they transformed mundane acts like shopping into a sensuous, thrilling, and exciting experience, dramatically altering the everyday fabric of social relations between people and things. These urban sites also possessed a darker side in the encouragement of pleasure-seeking and narcissistic self-gratification.
Professor YooÃ‚Â will analyze the internal dynamics of these giant emporiums, the exchange of commodities, and the manner in which these Ã¢â‚¬Å“palaces of consumptionÃ¢â‚¬Â invited spectatorship but also manipulated the consumer (e.g., providing tastes and preferences to its buyers) in various ways. In many respects mundane activities like Ã¢â‚¬Å“shoppingÃ¢â‚¬Â no longer represented Ã¢â‚¬Å“fixed needsÃ¢â‚¬Â but involved a complex set of practices that dramatically altered the everyday fabric of social relations between people and things.
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