Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Women's collective caring practices in South Korean environmental activism
Author: Chang , Woo-joo
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis examines the relationship between gender roles and environmental activities in South Korea. The research project included interviews with 23 women activists involved in organic co-operatives and environmental organisations, and two case-studies of recent environmental campaigns in South Korea: a campaign against water-fluoridation in Gwachun, and the Village Kitchen of the Mapo Doorae Cooperative. The study also incorporated the analysis of some key texts in Korean ecological thinking, and impOliant documents from the Korean environmentalist movement. The thesis also exammes the discourse of Saengmyung (Life) which emphasises women's caring roles in protecting the environment. Nevertheless, it shows that, in assuming caring roles within environmental organisations, women were often marginalised within environmental organisations. Three discrete motivations for women's environmental engagement in the South Korean environmental movement are identified: 1) awareness of the relationship between health and environmental issues; 2) a desire to escape personal isolation, and 3) the influence of specific sensual experiences and · memories of encounters with the natural world. The thesis traces the conflicts these women often faced in juggling their commitment to ecological campaigns with the demands of family life. It shows that, despite these tensions, some managed to transform themselves from individualised mothers into environmentalists, labelled as 'activist mothers' or ' socialised housewives', thereby becoming ecological agents. The thesis contends that the voices and opinions of women activists are often excluded in public discussions of environmental issues and that women are not encouraged to pursue ecological citizenship in the public sphere in South Korea. However, it demonstrates that some South Korean women have created ecological communities, which are quietly subversive and which constitute a form of 'subaltern public sphere' (Fraser, 1997). It argues that, as the core of their environmental activities, women's caring practices in South Korea have been orientated towards, and to some extent successful in challenging traditional gendered roles and divisions of labour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available