Colloquium in July 2019

Lee, Yewon Andrea (PhD Student, Department of Sociology at UCLA, U.S.)

Based on ethnography and comparative history analysis, this study explores how the self-employed tenants in Seoul, South Korea have resisted their lessors in alliance with one another. According to the research, it is their shared experience of ‘Protest Space Production’ and collective identity that they are in a similar political and socioeconomic condition which have made their collective behavior possible. Especially their history of protesting together in the same space shows a critical role of the ‘space’ in binding the self-employed who could be otherwise easily shattered. This study is to make visible the structurally precarious position of the self-employed in today’s Korean society, especially in the midst of gentrification, and the history of their organized collective action against such precariousness.

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