Korea’s Great Transformation and Hagen Koo’s Sociological Journey

Hagen KooIn the past half century, South Korea has transformed itself from a poor agricultural country into a highly industrialized and globalized society.

Throughout this transformation, Hagen Koo, professor of sociology at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, has been studying and writing about the remarkable social changes Korea has experienced.

Now, on the eve of his retirement, Professor Koo will offer a lecture reflecting on his past research endeavors and the trends of sociological theories that have influenced his work.

He will speak May 11, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. in the Center for Korean Studies auditorium.

Hagen KooHagen Koo is a graduate of Seoul National University and received his Ph.D. in sociology at Northwestern University in 1974. His association with the University of Hawai‘i started the following year. Then a faculty member at Memphis State University, he participated in the second major conference staged by the recently created UH Center for Korean Studies, a multidisciplinary conference on South Korea. Koo subsequently spent the 1978‒1979 academic year at Mānoa as a visiting professor in the Sociology Department, and in 1981 he joined the UH faculty.

The author of numerous articles and chapters in his field, he has also produced notable books. His Korean Workers: The Culture and Politics of Class Formation (Cornell University Press, 2001) won the American Sociological Association’s award for the most distinguished book published on Asia during 2001‒2003. The book has been translated into Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai.

Other works include the edited volumes State and Society in Contemporary Korea (Cornell University Press, 1993) and (with Kim Keong-il and Kim Jun) Modern Korean Labor: A Sourcebook (Academy of Korean Studies Press, 2015).

Koo describes his current research as being focused on the nature of economic development and neoliberal globalization in East Asia. In particular, he is interested in the ways structural changes generate new forms of class inequality and institutional changes in East Asian societies.

He is currently working on a book tentatively titled Cosmopolitan Anxiety: South Korea’s Globalized Middle Class in which he is exploring “the ways the South Korean middle class has changed significantly as a consequence of neoliberal globalization—from a relatively homogeneous and upwardly mobile class to an internally polarized, anxiety ridden, and politically unpredictable class.”

Center for Korean Studies events are free and open to all. For further information, including information regarding access for the handicapped, telephone the Center at (808) 956-7041. The University of Hawai‘i is an equal opportunity/affirmative action Institution.

Faculty Positions Open at University of Central Lancashire

UCLAN logoThe School of Language, Literature and International Studies at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, United Kingdom, invites applications for two faculty positions in Korean studies. The deadline for applications is June 14, 2015.

One position is for an associate lecturer in Korean language on a two-year contract.
Applicants should have experience teaching Korean language and culture in a higher-education setting, native or near-native command of Korean, excellent presentation and communication skills, and a willingness to deliver innovative teaching methods and materials. For a complete description of the position, see http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/ALD586/associate-lecturer-in-korean/.

The second position is for a lecturer in Korean studies, also on a two-year contract. Desired applicants will be educated to Ph.D. level (or near completion), have native or near-native ability in Korean language, and have experience of curriculum design and development in social science-founded modules in Korean studies, preferably in the disciplines of international relations, political science, or sociology. See the complete description at http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/ALD588/lecturer-in-korean-studies.

Call for Articles: Romanian Journal of Sociology

Romanian Academy logoRomanian Journal of Sociology, published by the Institute of Sociology, Romanian Academy, invites submission of original empirical (qualitative or quantitative) research, literature reviews, theoretical or methodological contributions, integrative reviews, meta-analyses, and comparative or historical studies on the topic “Korea’s Soft Power in the World.”

Articles should have between 8,000 and 10,000 words, with an abstract of 250-300 words and five key-words. Articles should adhere to APA Style. Name manuscripts in the form Authorname_KoreaSoftPower. Doc. Articles should be submitted on line at the address romanianjournalsociology@gmail.com. Indicate in the title of the message “Article for the special issue on Korea’s Soft Power in the World.”

The deadline for submitting articles is October 1, 2014. Questions should be directed to the editors at: romanianjournalsociology@gmail.com.

Sociology Colloquium: Ethnography of Urban Poor in Seoul

Photo: Cho UhnSociologist Uhn Cho will present a colloquium titled “Practicing Sociology and the Politics of Ethnography: A 25-Year Ethnography on Three-Generations of Urban Poor in Seoul” Tuesday, October 16, 2012. The UH Manoa Department of Sociology colloquium will be held in Saunders Hall 624 (The Friedman Room) beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Professor Uhn Cho received her Ph.D. from the the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in 1982 and taught at Dongguk University in Korea until this past spring. A renowned scholar whose work has crossed disciplinary and genre boundaries, she has written numerous articles and books on Korea’s class inequality, gender relations, family, and cultural sociology.

Concurrent with her retirement, Professor Cho published Sadang 25, a twenty-five-year-long ethnographic study of the poor residents of the Sadang neighborhood, investigating how their family fortunes have been altered in the midst of dramatic economic change in Korea. She is also the author of the novel House of Silence, a story of families suffering from having a family member who fled to communist North Korea during the post-World War II era. Her documentary film, A Nice Place, on urban poverty in Korea, was selected for the 13th International Women’s Film Festival in Seoul.

For more information, contact the Department of Sociology at (808) 956-7693 or, by e-mail, at socdept@hawaii.edu.

Harvard Recruiting Specialist in Korean Society

The Department of Sociology at Harvard University seeks to fill a full-time, tenure-track position as assistant or untenured associate professor of sociology in Korean society beginning in fall 2013. Substantive areas of research and teaching are open. Candidates are required to have a Ph.D. by the expected start date and should have demonstrated the promise of excellence in both research and teaching. Teaching duties will include offerings at both the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as undergraduate thesis advising.

Applicants should submit a dossier including: (1) a vita listing published and unpublished papers, (2) a cover letter, (3) a statement describing current and projected research activities, (4) a statement describing teaching experience and interests, and (5) two or three pieces of written work including at least one dissertation chapter. Also include names and contact information for three references.

All materials, including letters of reference, should be submitted online to http://academicpositions.harvard.edu/postings/4184. Materials submitted by regular mail or e-mail will not be accepted. The deadline to submit applications is September 15, 2012.