Service Economies

Service Economies : Militarism, Sex Work, and Migrant Labor in South Korea

4.27 (11 ratings by Goodreads)
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Service Economies presents an alternative narrative of South Korean modernity by examining how working-class labor occupies a central space in linking the United States and Asia to South Korea's changing global position from a U.S. neocolony to a subempire.Making surprising and revelatory connections, Jin-kyung Lee analyzes South Korean military labor in the Vietnam War, domestic female sex workers, South Korean prostitution for U.S. troops, and immigrant/migrant labor from Asia in contemporary South Korea. Foregrounding gender, sexuality, and race, Lee reimagines the South Korean economic "miracle" as a global and regional articulation of industrial, military, and sexual proletarianization.Lee not only addresses these under-studied labors individually but also integrates and unites them to reveal an alternative narrative of a changing South Korean working class whose heterogeneity is manifested in its objectification. Delving into literary and popular cultural sources as well as sociological work, Lee locates South Korean development in its military and economic interactions with the United States and other Asian nation-states, offering a unique perspective on how these practices have shaped and impacted U.S.-South Korea relations.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 408 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 18.03mm | 403.7g
  • Minnesota, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0816651264
  • 9780816651269
  • 806,520

Table of contents



Introduction: Proletarianizing Sexuality and Race

1. Surrogate Military, Subempire, and Masculinity: South Korea in the Vietnam War

2. Domestic Prostitution: From Necropolitics to Prosthetic Labor

3. Military Prostitution: Gynocentrism, Racial Hybridity and Diaspora

4. Migrant and Immigrant Labor: Redefining Korean Identity

Postscript: The Exceptional and the Normative in South Korean Modernization



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Review quote

"Examining South Korean history since 1945, Service Economies highlights the role of sexualized and gendered working-class labor as an occluded but crucial part of South Korean modernization. A truly interdisciplinary project, Jin-Kyung Lee's ambitious, rigorous, and synthetic work intervenes into historical, political economic, and cultural studies scholarship on South Korea, transnational labor, gender and sexuality, and U.S. neo-colonialism." -Grace Hong, UCLA
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About Jin-Kyung Lee

Jin-kyung Lee is associate professor of Korean and comparative literature at the University of California, San Diego.
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Rating details

11 ratings
4.27 out of 5 stars
5 45% (5)
4 36% (4)
3 18% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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