The pithy, remarkable claim at the opening of Hyun Ok Park’s latest book—that “capital has already unified Korea in a transnational form” (p. 3)—is a claim about both an empirical reality and an ideological situation. The unification Park identifies is not of the territorial kind, nor does it concern separated families or irredentist notions. The empirical quality of unification revealed in Park’s study is capitalist integration driven by the flow of commodities—specifically labor, money, and ideas—across the borders of North Korea, China, and South Korea. Park’s fieldwork in Northeast Asia traces this flow, and the book presents fascinating interviews of the people who make these journeys. One theme among the North Koreans’ experience is the narrative of “I didn’t have to come but still . . ., ” which Park considers as a discourse...
Skip Nav Destination
Book Review| September 01 2017
The Capitalist Unconscious: From Korean Unification to Transnational Korea
The Capitalist Unconscious: From Korean Unification to Transnational Koreaby Park, Hyun Ok.
Columbia University Press,
349pp. Photographs. Notes. Bibliography. Index. $60.00 (cloth). $59.99 (e-book)
Journal of Korean Studies (2017) 22 (2): 462–464.
Cheehyung Harrison Kim; The Capitalist Unconscious: From Korean Unification to Transnational Korea. Journal of Korean Studies 1 September 2017; 22 (2): 462–464. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/21581665-4226532
Download citation file: