Building Ships, Building a Nation: Koreas Democratic Unionism under Park Chung Hee

Paperback | March 20, 2009

byHwasook B. Nam

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Building Ships, Building a Nation examines the rise and fall, during the rule of Park Chung Hee (1961-79), of the combative labor union at the Korea Shipbuilding and Engineering Corporation (KSEC), which was Korea's largest shipyard until Hyundai appeared on the scene in the early 1970s. Drawing on the union's extraordinary and extensive archive, Hwasook Nam focuses on the perceptions, attitudes, and discourses of the mostly male heavy-industry workers at the shipyard and on the historical and sociopolitical sources of their militancy. Inspired by legacies of labor activism from the colonial and immediate postcolonial periods, KSEC union workers fought for equality, dignity, and a voice for labor as they struggled to secure a living wage that would support families.

The standard view of the South Korean labor movement sees little connection between the immediate postwar era and the period since the 1970s and largely denies positive legacies coming from the period of Japanese colonialism in Korea. Contrary to this conventional view, Nam charts the importance of these historical legacies and argues that the massive mobilization of workers in the postwar years, even though it ended in defeat, had a major impact on the labor movement in the following decades.

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Building Ships, Building a Nation examines the rise and fall, during the rule of Park Chung Hee (1961-79), of the combative labor union at the Korea Shipbuilding and Engineering Corporation (KSEC), which was Korea's largest shipyard until Hyundai appeared on the scene in the early 1970s. Drawing on the union's extraordinary and extens...

Hwasook Nam is assistant professor of history and international studies at the University of Washington, where she holds the James B. Palais professorship in Korea studies.

other books by Hwasook B. Nam

The Journal of Korean Studies, Volume 14, Number 1 (Fall 2009)
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Kobo ebook|Jan 16 2010

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The Journal of Korean Studies, Volume 14, Number 1 (Fall 2009)
The Journal of Korean Studies, Volume 14, Number 1 (Fal...

Kobo ebook|Jan 16 2010

$27.79 online$35.99list price(save 22%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8.9 × 5.9 × 0.9 inPublished:March 20, 2009Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295988991

ISBN - 13:9780295988993

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction

PART I: THE LEGACIES OF COLONIALISM AND THE EARLY COLD WAR YEARS1 Worker Militancy in the Postwar Years2 Anticommunism, Labor Rights, and Organized Labor: The Early 1950s

PART II: THE EMERGENCE OF A DEMOCRAT IC UNION3 KSEC Workers in the 1950s4 The KSEC Union in the Political Upheavals of 1960-615 Consolidation of a Democratic Union6 Rationalization and Resistance

PART III: DEVELOPMENT OVER DEMOCRACY7 Development versus Democracy: The Late 1960s8 Privatization and the Suppression of Labor, 1968-699 Shipbuilding Workers under Authoritarian Rule: The 1970s10 Shipbuilding for the World Market and Resurging Labor Militancy

APPENDIX A: The KSEC Union Archive Document File List, 1960-79APPENDIX B: The Labor Charter of 1948APPENDIX C: A Comparison of Two Contracts, 1968 and 1971NotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

Building Ships, Building a Nation examines the rise and fall, during the rule of Park Chung Hee (1961-79), of the combative labor union at the Korea Shipbuilding and Engineering Corporation (KSEC), which was Korea's largest shipyard until Hyundai appeared on the scene in the early 1970s. Drawing on the union's extraordinary and extensive archive, Hwasook Nam focuses on the perceptions, attitudes, and discourses of the mostly male heavy-industry workers at the shipyard and on the historical and sociopolitical sources of their militancy. Inspired by legacies of labor activism from the colonial and immediate postcolonial periods, KSEC union workers fought for equality, dignity, and a voice for labor as they struggled to secure a living wage that would support families.The standard view of the South Korean labor movement sees little connection between the immediate postwar era and the period since the 1970s and largely denies positive legacies coming from the period of Japanese colonialism in Korea. Contrary to this conventional view, Nam charts the importance of these historical legacies and argues that the massive mobilization of workers in the postwar years, even though it ended in defeat, had a major impact on the labor movement in the following decades.This is an impressive piece of research. The extensive consultation of a large volume of archival records provides a rich source of historical narratives regarding postwar labour history in Korea. - Gyu-Jin Hwang, Asian Studies Review - Vol. 35, March 2011