Discourses of civil society in South Korea: democratisation in an emerging information society

Lee, Hee-Jeong (2012). Discourses of civil society in South Korea: democratisation in an emerging information society. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This thesis presents a late-Durkheimian theoretical framework on civil society as a sphere of solidarity and applies it to the development from modern society to an „information society‟. The framework is used to identify the cultural codes that exist in different information societies and to show their role in integrating or dividing the members of civil society. The framework is applied to South Korean civil society entering an information age coincident alongside processes of democratisation. Three policy debates relating to information are used as case studies to show the coexistence of, and conflicts between, a „developmental code‟ based on economic growth and anti-communism deriving from the authoritarian period of state-sponsored capitalism, and a later „democratic code‟ based on human rights. The three cases are: the Electronic National Identification Card, the National Education Information System and the credit information system. The thesis argues that the values of a „democratic‟ code are becoming more dominant in recent South Korean society, despite continuous challenge for its validity. The cases provide evidence that democratisation and informatization can operate in tandem to establish the dominance of the democratic code in public discourse in South Korean civil society.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/3746


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