Toronto Symposium Focuses on Works of Hagen Koo

photo of Hagen KooThe writ­ings of Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies fac­ul­ty mem­ber Hagen Koo form the core of a one‐day sym­po­sium being held at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to this month.

The sym­po­sium–Rethink­ing Class and Labour through the Works of Hagen Koo–is spon­sored by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Cen­tre for the Study of Korea. It takes place Fri­day, July 16, 2018, begin­ning at 9:30 a.m. at the Asian Insti­tute at the Munk School of Glob­al Affairs.

Hagen Koo is emer­i­tus pro­fes­sor of soci­ol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Born in Korea, he received his B.A. in Korea and worked as a jour­nal­ist before com­ing to the Unit­ed States. He began his grad­u­ate stud­ies at the Uni­ver­si­ty of British Colum­bia and com­plet­ed his Ph.D. degree at North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty.

cover of Korean Workers by Hagen KooPro­fes­sor Koo has pub­lished exten­sive­ly on the polit­i­cal econ­o­my of devel­op­ment in East Asia and social trans­for­ma­tion in South Korea dur­ing its peri­od of rapid indus­tri­al­iza­tion. His major works include State and Soci­ety in Con­tem­po­rary Korea (1993) and Kore­an Work­ers: The Cul­ture and Pol­i­tics of Class For­ma­tion (2001). The lat­ter received a book award from the Amer­i­can Soci­o­log­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion and has been trans­lat­ed into sev­er­al lan­guages.

Koo con­tin­ues to work on the issues of inequal­i­ty and chang­ing class rela­tions and is com­plet­ing a book on the demise of the mid­dle class in South Korea in the neolib­er­al era. He is cur­rent­ly a vis­it­ing schol­ar at Free Uni­ver­si­ty of Berlin.

The sym­po­sium will begin with Koo’s keynote address, “Rethink­ing Work­ing Class For­ma­tion in South Korea.” He will dis­cuss the dis­tinc­tive aspects of what has been one of the world’s most inter­est­ing and dynam­ic working‐class move­ments dur­ing the past half cen­tu­ry and will exam­ine their broad the­o­ret­i­cal impli­ca­tions from a ret­ro­spec­tive per­spec­tive.

The Program

Oth­er sym­po­sium speak­ers and their top­ics include Jen­nifer Chun of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to (“Reli­gion, Rit­u­al and Spaces of Work­er Protest in South Korea); Hyun­jin Veda Kim of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Massachusetts‐Amherst (“Hagen Koo’s Kore­an Work­ers and Marx­ism in the Third World”); Namhee Lee of UCLA (“The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Tran­si­tion, Working‐Class Iden­ti­ties, and the Cur­rent State of Research”); Hwa‐Jen Liu of Nation­al Tai­wan Uni­ver­si­ty (“Com­par­isons as Con­ver­sa­tions”); and Gay Sei­d­man of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wisconsin‐Madison “Hon­our­ing Hagen Koo: Look­ing Back, Look­ing For­ward”).

The pro­gram will be chaired by Yoonkyung Lee of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to.

For more infor­ma­tion about the sym­po­sium pro­gram and speak­ers, see

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

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

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 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:

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