When is a skirt "national" ? The popularization of the Wolnamchima ("Vietnamese skirt") in South Korea during the Vietnam War

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2015-11-13
Authors
Lee, Minjung
Kaiser, Susan
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Abstract

Wolnamchima especially represents a dominant cultural phenomena among housewives and rural women in South Korea in the 1970s. Moreover, it is noteworthy that the Wolnamchima, with its Vietnamese modifier, had the ability to become so ubiquitous and to remain popular so long (until the 1980s) in rural areas of Korea. We have approached this study through the lens of two concepts. We borrow the first concept from Benedict Anderson (2006), who characterized a “nation” as an “imagined community.” Through his concept, one can examine impressions and stereotypes that Koreans held regarding the nation of Vietnam: the imagination of a country as different from Korea. The second concept is cultural authentication (Eicher & Erokosima, 1995), as compared to de-cultural authentication (Lutz, 2004). We have used a historical research methodology to gather and interpret our data, using primary and secondary sources.

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