Reinforced hetero-normativity: gender constructs in Chosŏn (朝鮮) Korea

Show simple item record Cawley, Kevin N. 2019-01-10T09:54:39Z 2019-01-10T09:54:39Z 2018
dc.identifier.citation Cawley, K. N. (2018) 'Reinforced hetero-normativity: gender constructs in Chosŏn (朝鮮) Korea', Irish Journal of Asian Studies, 4 (2018), pp. 39-52. Available at: (Accessed: 10 January 2019). en
dc.identifier.volume 4 en
dc.identifier.startpage 39 en
dc.identifier.endpage 52 en
dc.identifier.issn 2009-8448
dc.description.abstract During Korea’s Chosŏn dynasty (朝鮮; 1392-1910), strictly codified heteronormalising gender constructs emerged, which for all intents and purposes undermined the possibility of homosexuality to exist in either private or public spaces. By drawing on contemporary critical theorists such as Hélène Cixous and Luce Irigaray, this paper critiques the socio-historical constructs of gender identity in Korea shaped during this period. Such critiques expose the inherent inequalities of hierarchical ‘gender traditions’ that are reinforced through patriarchies, which in the case of Chosŏn, commemorated the patrilineal genealogies of (supposedly) heterosexual men from the past. I will begin by dismantling notions of gender during this period, which was manipulated and rigidly constructed by (mis)using Neo-Confucian texts and metaphysics, inherited from the Chinese philosopher Zhu Xi (朱熹, 1130-1200). Zhu’s Reflections on Things at Hand, sought to regulate the family, while his Lesser Learning, reiterated rules that facilitated the suppression of women as daughters, wives, and even mothers. While commemorating ‘great men’ and emphasising ideals of ‘good women’, a gender ideology was implanted within the social matrix and recorded from one generation to the next in genealogical records known as chokpo (族譜). This hetero-normative way-of-being was enforced in legal texts and through literature by men, which yoked women into artificially orchestrated modes of behaviour that would also be transmitted by women themselves via texts that they themselves sometimes wrote and distributed. These ideas continue to influence modern Korean society, where women still struggle to dismantle out-dated modes of social expectations, and where the LGBTQ community is only starting to assert themselves and reject ‘compulsive’ hetero-normativity. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher School of Asian Studies, University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2018, Irish Journal of Asian Studies. All rights reserved. en
dc.subject Hetero-normativity en
dc.subject Gender traditions en
dc.subject Genealogy en
dc.subject Artificial nature en
dc.subject Chosŏn en
dc.title Reinforced hetero-normativity: gender constructs in Chosŏn (朝鮮) Korea en
dc.type Article (peer-reviewed) en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Kevin Cawley, Asian Studies, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. +353-21-490-3000 Email: en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en 2019-01-10T09:42:59Z
dc.description.version Published Version en
dc.internal.rssid 466159111
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle Irish Journal of Asian Studies en
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes en
dc.internal.licenseacceptance Yes en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress en

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