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BayCEER Seminar

Presenting person: Detlef Müller-MahnEuyryung Jun
Th. 2012-03-15 (16:00-18:00), GEO, H6

Contact: Detlef Müller-Mahn

Euyryung Jun

presenting her dissertation:

Title: “We have to transform ourselves first”: Ethics of Liberal Developmentalism and Multicultural Governance in South Korea


Multiculturalism has often been articulated through imperial and civilizational discourses that identify tolerance with the liberal west and intolerance with non-liberal societies and cultures. This talk explores how the focus of the civilizational gaze is turned on the allegedly “not yet tolerant self” in the neoliberal developmental state of South Korea. The mode of the liberal government that recently emerged in Korea has been shaped not in the self-celebratory rhetoric of “what we are” but in the self-critical, developmentalist rhetoric of “what we lack.” Drawing on fieldwork among local civic actors working in the field of migration, the talk examines how the civic discourse of damunhwa, or “multiculturalism,” that emerged in opposition to the “governmental objectification” of migrant groups redirects the focus onto the ethical improvement of the general population relying on another form of reified otherness that captures migrants and their presence in the country as “opportunities” for Korea’s moral ventures.

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last modified 2012-03-13