Transforming the Paradigm of Wo/men's Human Rights Through Intercultural Pastoral Care: Narratives of Vulnerability & Contradiction in Korean Wo/men's Lives in the Colonial and Postcolonial Period Restricted; Files & ToC

Moon, Hellena (2012)

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This dissertation seeks to complicate the essentialized trope of the "poor and suffering Asian woman" in the wo/men's human rights paradigm. It critiques the han-filled victim subject in Korean feminist the*logical discourse. The dissertation provides a genealogy and critique of a the*logy of han, predominant in the narratives and theories of and about Korean wo/men's lives. In arguing that a the*logy of chŏng is troubling as well, it traces its genealogy to the period of Japanese colonial rule of Korea (1910-1945).

In desiring to move towards a post-nationalist trajectory, as well as a post-identity framework for Asian/American feminist the*logical discourse, the dissertation argues for a better understanding of feminist legal scholar, Martha Fineman's theory of vulnerability. This project argues that the essentialized trope of the "han-filled woman" strategically being used by the wo/men's rights movement perpetuates and substantiates a wounded-victim identity, as well as codifies her powerlessness. Rather than focusing on the essentialized victim subject in the discourse of wo/men's human rights, this project examines the fluidities of our agency by looking at the vulnerable subject. Post-nationalist, vulnerability analyses of two cases studies, "comfort wo/men," and camptown prostitution in South Korea are presented. This work demonstrates that under situations of domination from forms of power such as racism, patri-kyriarchy, colonialism, and imperialism; wo/men have expressed forms of resistance, agency, subjectivity and self-determination.

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