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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Asian Studies

Undergraduate Course: East Asian Youth: Spaces, Ecologies, Technologies (ASST08072)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe module explores East Asian youth and youth culture as it connects with the political, social, economic, environmental and cultural transformations of the 20th and 21st centuries. Using theoretical frameworks from political science, anthropology, sociology, cultural and human geography, and science and technology studies, the module seeks to introduce students to the cutting edges of youth experience in East Asia, in countries such as South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the People's Republic of China, including the work places and industries of the future, landscapes of social and cultural practice, social organisation, political resistance and struggle, environmental and ecological futures, as well as the terrains of nationalist reconstruction, gender, identity and culture wars. Examining case studies from across East Asia, the module will deploy the knowledge and research in the field, and harness the creativity of participants in its assessments.
Course description Academic Description
The twentieth century has been conceptualised as an era of youth, in which the teenager, the tweenager and the pre-teen were invented. Young people's work, family and leisure lives have been transformed by rapid social changes across the globe, by liberalising economic and social norms, and by reconfigurations of governmental, social and industrial-business complexes. While the teenager did not necessarily arrive late in East Asia, its young people have been through a series of recent conflicts, revolutions, colonisations and traumas which would surely impact their experience of youth culture and possibilities. South Korean young people for example have been key agents of local democratisation and justice struggles, even at their most violent, and so are deeply embedded in the processes of contemporary cultural and social formation in their country. Globally East Asian young people and their bodies are renowned for the dayglo, effervescent song and dance of Kpop, Jpop and Cpop, as well as a variety of other cultural productions. Young people from other nations make their way to the Korean peninsula both physically and virtually to connect to the energies bursting out of its youth culture. South Korean young people are also renowned for having a complicated relationship with the material and psychological landscapes they inhabit, feeling forced to abandon hope and aspiration at all sorts of levels, in common it seems with younger people in China. How have these circumstances come about given that contemporary South Korea is regarded with both curiosity and aspiration, in an East Asia which across the globe is thought to be a technology-enabled future facing fantasy destination. This module inspired by Anthropology and Human Geography's cultural and material 'turns' seeks to use a wide range of theoretical frameworks, readings and case studies sourced from disciplines including political science, anthropology, sociology, science and technology studies and cultural and human geography, as well as East Asian Studies, to explore the cutting edges of young people's lives and experiences in East Asia.

Outline Content
Students taking this module will explore the protest and resistance spaces of East Asia, from democratisation struggles, South Korea's Candlelight and justice movements to Hong Kong's Five Demands, in particular considering new practices and techniques of digital protest and organisation. The module considers young people's role in the spatial manifestation and development of new forms of performative and demonstrative nationalism. The module also touches on urban gentrification and redevelopment, familiar topics across academic disciplines, but in this students will explore the drivers and energies behind social media and algorithm led urban transformations in Seoul, and resistance movements against them, such as Japan's anti-homelessness campaigns. Digital and online terrain is also explored by this module through examinations of South Korea's combative online feminist, anti-feminist, misogynist and Incel groups and their platform and tech-based conflicts, contests and communities. Given the environmental/climate crisis this module places young people in the foreground of East Asian experiences of ecological struggle, from #fridaysforfuture and YFCA, to conservation campaigns and anti-development protests. Alongside thinking about the place of young people's bodies within East Asia's vibrant pop culture, cramming and education spaces, and technology, algorithm, and artificial intelligence driven spaces of the future, this module allows students to fully explore the cutting edge of academic analysis of East Asian young people's lives and landscapes.

Student Learning Experience
This module will be delivered through a series of combined lectures and seminars in which the module content will first be outlined in a lecture format, and then considered at greater depth in seminars which will a combination of directed and blended learning. These seminars will take a variety of forms, from group work to in class of discussion of creative content (such as films, music, games, social media output etc). Some of these seminars will also be used as assessment workshops/drop-ins allowing students to ask questions and understand better the course's assessment requirements. So far as the course's assessments, alongside analysis and case studies from across East Asia, the module will deploy the knowledge and research of its organisers, and harness the creativity of participants in its assessments, which will include a midterm 'creative piece' where students will be asked to imaginatively and creatively reflect on elements from the first half of the module. The module's final assessment will be a more conventional 'essay' assignment in which students can demonstrate deeper levels of analysis and knowledge built over the course of the module. The module will not have an examination assessment element.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand some of the key issues facing young people in East Asia, and how these issues manifest themselves in the spaces created by or for them.
  2. Utilise critical theory to develop an analytically grounded sense of East Asian young people¿s experience of and response to environmental, ecological and climate crisis.
  3. Formulate and reflect on their own questions for assessment and develop their skills to critically assess source material in a wide variety of formats.
  4. Use and understand a wide range of methodologies, theoretical frameworks and concepts for academic disciplines which have developed research frameworks focused on young people in East Asia.
  5. Discuss, analyse and reflect on potential and developing future spaces and influences on East Asian young people.
Reading List
Young people's transformation of political space
Essential reading
Lee, Francis LF, Gary KY Tang, Samson Yuen, and Edmund W. Cheng. "Five demands and (not quite) beyond: Claim making and ideology in Hong Kong¿s anti-extradition bill movement." Communist and Post-Communist Studies 53, no. 4 (2020): 22-40.
Kim, Nan. "Candlelight and the yellow ribbon: Catalyzing re-democratization in South Korea." Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus 15, no. 14 (2017): 1-21.
Kim, Jinah. "The Insurgency of Mourning: Sewol across the Transpacific." Amerasia Journal 46, no. 1 (2020): 84-100.
Recommended Reading
Yun, Seongyi. "Contributions and limits of student movement in South Korea democratization, 1980-1987." Korea Observer 30, no. 3 (1999): 487.
Jeong, Areum. "Beyond the Sewol: Performing acts of activism in South Korea." Performance Research 24, no. 5 (2019): 33-43.
Yun, Seongyi, and Woo Young Chang. "New media and political socialization of teenagers: The case of the 2008 candlelight protests in Korea." Asian Perspective 35, no. 1 (2011): 135-162.
S. Ku, Agnes. "New forms of youth activism¿Hong Kong¿s Anti-Extradition Bill movement in the local-national-global nexus." Space and Polity 24, no. 1 (2020): 111-117.
Chu, Donna SC. "Media use and protest mobilization: A case study of umbrella movement within Hong Kong schools." Social Media+ Society 4, no. 1 (2018): 2056305118763350.

Performative nationalism
Essential Reading
Wang, Xinyi, François Colbert, and Renaud Legoux. "From Niche Interest to Fashion Trend: Hanfu Clothing as a Rising Industry in China." International Journal of Arts Management 23, no. 1 (2020): 79-89.
Hurt, Michael. "Passing Through: Performative Authenticity in the Korean Street Fashion Experience among Chinese Tourists." Journal of Qualitative Inquiry 3, no. 1 (2017): 157-186.
Recommended Reading
Nagaike, Kazumi, and Kaori Yoshida. "Becoming and performing the self and the other: fetishism, fantasy, and sexuality of cosplay in Japanese girls'/women's manga." Asia Pacific World 2, no. 2 (2011): 22-44.
Banfill, Kaitlin. "Retro Nuosu: reclaiming the past, present, and future through participatory portraits in Southwest China." Visual Anthropology Review 36, no. 2 (2020): 296-318.
Li, En. "The controversial flag dress: Collective memory, cyberspace and civil society in a rising China." East Asian Journal of Popular Culture 5, no. 1 (2019): 43-53.

Young people and Urban Instagrammification/gentrification in Seoul and anti-homelessness movements in Japan
Essential Reading
Lee, Seon Young. "Cities for profit: Profit-driven gentrification in Seoul, South Korea." Urban Studies 55, no. 12 (2018): 2603-2617.
Hayashi, Mahito. "Rescaled ¿Rebel Cities¿, Nationalization, and the Bourgeois Utopia: Dialectics Between Urban Social Movements and Regulation for Japan's Homeless." Antipode 47, no. 2 (2015): 418-441.
Ryu, Saebae, Saehim Kim, Mi-Jeong Cho, and Myeong-Hun Lee. "Defining the 'Hip Factor': Analysis of Location Properties, SNS Usage, and Other 'Hip-Place' Characteristics That Influence Visitor Satisfaction." Sustainability 14, no. 10 (2022): 6026.
Recommended Reading
Zhang, Jing, Zuopeng Ma, Dawei Li, Wei Liu, Yao Tong, and Chenggu Li. "Young pioneers, vitality, and commercial gentrification in Mudan Street, Changchun, China." Sustainability 12, no. 8 (2020): 3113.
Shin, Hyun Bang, and Soo-Hyun Kim. "The developmental state, speculative urbanisation and the politics of displacement in gentrifying Seoul." Urban Studies 53, no. 3 (2016): 540-559.
Shin, Hyunjoon. "The punk and the post-developing city: Subculture-led urban regeneration in Seoul?." City, Culture and Society 19 (2019): 100295.
Cassegard, Carl. "Activism Beyond the Pleasure Principle? Homelessness and Art in the Shinjuku Underground." Third Text 27, no. 5 (2013): 620-633.

Constructing idols: Young people, structures, alienation and technologies of self in K and Jpop
Essential Reading
Kim, Yeran. "Idol republic: The global emergence of girl industries and the commercialization of girl bodies." Journal of Gender Studies 20, no. 4 (2011): 333-345.
Liew, Kai Khiun, and Angela Lee. "K-pop boot camps in choreographic co-creative labor." Global Media and China 5, no. 4 (2020): 372-388.
Venters, Laurie, and Alexander Rothenberg. "Trammelled stars: the non-autonomy of female K-pop idols." Celebrity Studies (2022): 1-17.
Recommended Reading
Kim, Ju Oak. "Despite not being Johnny's: The cultural impact of TVXQ in the Japanese music industry." In K-pop - The International Rise of the Korean Music Industry, pp. 66-80. Routledge, 2014.
Kim, Gooyong. From factory girls to K-pop idol girls: Cultural politics of developmentalism, patriarchy, and neoliberalism in South Korea's popular music industry. Rowman & Littlefield, 2018.

Financializing screen time: E-sports, gaming and webtoons as careers for youth
Essential Reading
Bae, Keung Yoon¿Becky. "From underground to the palm of your hand: The spatiality and cultural practice of South Korean webtoons." East Asian Journal of Popular Culture 3, no. 1 (2017): 73-84.
Seo, Yuri, and Sang-Uk Jung. "Beyond solitary play in computer games: The social practices of eSports." Journal of Consumer Culture 16, no. 3 (2016): 635-655.
Rea, Stephen C. "Calibrating Play: Sociotemporality in south korean digital gaming culture." American Anthropologist 120, no. 3 (2018): 500-511.
Recommended Reading
Huhh, Jun-Sok. "The 'bang' where Korean online gaming began: The culture and business of the PC bang in Korea." In Gaming Cultures and Place in Asia-Pacific, pp. 118-132. Routledge, 2009.
Hong, Hee Jung, Guy Wilkinson, and Claudio M. Rocha. "The Relationship Between Basic Needs Satisfaction, Self-determined Motivation, and Burnout in Korean Esports Players." Journal of Gambling Studies (2022): 1-16.
Bae, Keung Yoon. "'Too Many Koreans': Esports Biopower and South Korean Gaming Infrastructure." In Media Technologies for Work and Play in East Asia, pp. 205-228. Bristol University Press, 2021.
Bae, Keung Yoon¿Becky. "From underground to the palm of your hand: The spatiality and cultural practice of South Korean webtoons." East Asian Journal of Popular Culture 3, no. 1 (2017): 73-84.
Kim, Ji-Hyeon, and Jun Yu. "Platformizing webtoons: The impact on creative and digital labor in South Korea." Social Media+ Society 5, no. 4 (2019): 2056305119880174.

Cramming spaces: Geographies of study, opportunity, stress and competition for young Koreans
Essential Reading
Lee, Chong Jae. "Korean education fever and private tutoring." KEDI Journal of Educational Policy 2, no. 1 (2005).
Hae-Joang, Cho. "The spec generation who can't say 'no': overeducated and underemployed youth in contemporary South Korea." positions: east asia cultures critique 23, no. 3 (2015): 437-462.
Yi, Joseph. "Tiger moms and liberal elephants: Private, supplemental education among Korean-Americans." Society 50, no. 2 (2013): 190-195.
Recommended Reading
Kim, Doohwan, and Yool Choi. "The irony of the unchecked growth of higher education in South Korea: Crystallization of class cleavages and intensifying status competition." Development and Society 44 (2015).
Lee, Sinhea. "Goshiwon of Noryangjin: A preliminary study of Goshiwon and the effects of its confined spatial environment." PhD diss., University of Cincinnati, 2020.

Environmental and Climate resistance among East Asian young people #Fridaysforfuture and Y4CA
Essential Reading
Shin, Jin-Wook. "New Waves of Civic Participation and Social Movements in South Korea in the 21st Century: Organization, Configuration and Agency." Korea Europe Review: an interdisciplinary journal of politics, society, and economics 1 (2021).
Lee, Hyerim. "Understanding climate action by teenagers as social movements: A case study of Youth 4 Climate Action in Korea." Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science (2020).
Prendergast, Kate, Bronwyn Hayward, Midori Aoyagi, Kate Burningham, M. Mehedi Hasan, Tim Jackson, Vimlendu Jha et al. "Youth attitudes and participation in climate protest: An international cities comparison frontiers in political science special issue: Youth activism in environmental politics." Frontiers in Political Science 3 (2021): 696105.
Recommended Reading
Lee, Su-Hoon. "Environmental Movements in South Korea." In Asia's Environmental Movements, pp. 90-119. Routledge, 2017.
Kim, Sangmin. "From protest to collaboration: The evolution of the community movements amid sociopolitical transformation in South Korea." Urban Studies 54, no. 16 (2017): 3806-3825.
Cho, Eun-su. "From ascetic to activist: Jiyul sunim's korean buddhist eco-movement." In Nature, Environment and Culture in East Asia, pp. 259-281. Brill, 2013.
Holthus, Barbara. "Amorphous Dissent: Post-Fukushima Social Movements in Japan." Social Science Japan Journal (2022).

Resisting, giving up (housing, meat, children and the future) and ecoanxieties
Essential Reading
Kim, Youngmi. "Hell Joseon: Polarization and social contention in a neo-liberal age." In Korea's Quest for Economic Democratization, pp. 1-20. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2018.
Lee, Jieun, and Euisol Jeong. "The 4B movement: envisioning a feminist future with/in a non-reproductive future in Korea." Journal of Gender Studies 30, no. 5 (2021): 633-644.
Recommended Reading
Kim, Seokho, Hongjung Kim, Sangkyu Lee, Eunji Kim, and Ohjae Gowen. "Lack of Dream-Capital among Korean Youths: Rationally Chosen or Culturally Forbidden?." Development and Society 47, no. 3 (2018): 347-370.
Joo, Yunjeong. "Same despair but different hope: Youth activism in East Asia and contentious politics." Development and Society 47, no. 3 (2018): 401-422.

Sex and gender terrains in East Asia: Exploring online feminism, Incel culture and misogyny
Essential Reading
Jeong, Euisol, and Jieun Lee. "We take the red pill, we confront the DickTrix: Online feminist activism and the augmentation of gendered realities in South Korea." Feminist Media Studies 18, no. 4 (2018): 705-717.
Kim, Youngmi. "Mirroring misogyny in Hell Chos'n: Megalia, Womad, and Korea's feminism in the age of digital populism." European Journal of Korean Studies 20, no. 2 (2021): 101-134.
Ashman, Amalya Layla. "The Kimchi-Bitch Cultural Complex Modern Misogyny, Memes, and Millennial Men in South Korea." In Cultural Complexes in China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, pp. 227-257. Routledge, 2020.
Recommended Reading
Kim, Jinsook. "Misogyny for male solidarity: Online hate discourse against women in South Korea." In Mediating Misogyny, pp. 151-169. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2018.
Oh, David C. "'Feminists really are crazy': The Isu Station incident and the creation of an androcentric, misogynistic community on YouTube." Journal of International and Intercultural Communication (2021): 1-17.

East Asian spaces of the future: young people and big data, AI and the metaverse
Essential Reading
Cho, Heekyoung (2021). 'The Platformization of Culture: Webtoon Platforms and Media Ecology in Korea and Beyond'. The Journal of Asian Studies 80 (1): 73-93.
Wu, Qingjun, Zhang, Hao, Li, Zhen and Liu, Kai (2019). 'Labor control in the gig economy:
Evidence from Uber in China. Journal of Industrial Relations 61 (4): 574-596.
Recommended Reading
Lee, Seung Cheol. "Magical Capitalism, Gambler Subjects: South Korea's Bitcoin Investment Frenzy." Cultural Studies (2020): 1-24
Roberts, Huw, Cowls, Josh, Morley, Jessica, Taddeo, Mariarosaria, Wang, Vincent and Floridi, Luciano (2021). 'The Chinese approach to artificial intelligence: an analysis of policy, ethics, and regulation'. AI & SOCIETY 36: 59-77.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills * Be familiar with spaces, life experiences, technologies, political strategies, working futures of East Asian and Korean young people.
* Develop analytical and critical thinking skills.
* Acquire clear communication skills through class presentations.
* Acquire practical and transferable skills by creating blog entries, policy brief, Wikipedia, video essay, podcasts.
KeywordsKorea,East Asia,Youth,Youth movements,Youth spaces,Climate Justice,Ecological Justice,Work
Course organiserDr Robert Winstanley-Chesters
Course secretaryMs Sheila Strathdee
Tel: (0131 6)50 3619
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