The continued division of the Korean peninsula has raised long-standing debates about the likelihood and possible timing of reunification. In The Capitalist Unconscious, Park argues instead that the shift from the Cold War politics of the 1990s has in fact already unified the Korean peninsula in a way that is “not shaped by the long-awaited form of territorial integration and family union but rather is driven by the exchange of capital, labor, and ideas across the borders of Korean communities, including the Korean diaspora” (3). She analyzes the meanings and underlying logic of these exchanges—what Park sees as manifestations of the “capitalist unconscious” of the title—in South Korea, China, and North Korea. In the process, she utilizes archival sources and ethnography, including oral interviews with migrants, government officials, and others. Individual chapters explore migrant and marginalized laborers’ experiences, government policies and social tensions, as well as the changing and...
The Capitalist Unconscious: From Korean Unification to Transnational Korea. By Hyun Ok Park (New York, Columbia University Press, 2015) 400 pp. $36.00
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Deborah B. Solomon; The Capitalist Unconscious: From Korean Unification to Transnational Korea. By Hyun Ok Park (New York, Columbia University Press, 2015) 400 pp. $36.00. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2016; 47 (2): 261–262. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/JINH_r_01006
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