Ethnography Lab / Events

Ban Damunhwa and its Neoliberal Affect of Fairness and Equity

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 | 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM AP330, Anthropology Building 19 Russell St. _
Speaker: EuyRyung Jun, Chonbuk National University Chair: Jesook Song, Department of Anthropology, U of T

This talk discusses the rapid emergence of ban damunhwa (“anti-multiculture”) or the sentiment of anti-immigration in South Korea. Ban damunhwa discourse centers on a variety of issues such as the state’s multicultural policy, crimes by foreigners and problems of the socalled “illegal sojourners” and has been most active and visible on the Internet especially since the mid-2000s. In this talk, I specifically focus on the way ban damunhwa defines the state’s multicultural policy as what gives special preferences to migrants, which, in turn, is said to destroy the livelihoods of the nationals. Represented as “voices of ordinary citizens,” ban damunhwa narratives appeal to, not nationalist or racist sentiments, but rather a neoliberal commonsense of fairness and equity, under which migrants emerge as demonic free-riders. I show how ban damunhwa not only serves as a symptom of a neoliberal ethic but also mirrors the dilemma of the people who struggle under neoliberal system of precarity and yet persist it by reproducing its main ideologies.

EuyRyung Jun is assistant professor of anthropology at Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, South Korea. Jun primarily works on migration, multiculturalism, right-wing populism, and biopolitics and animal discourse. She has published articles in FOCAAL, Positions, Anthropological Quarterly, Kyeongje wa Sahoe [Economy and Society], and Hanguk Munhwa Inryuhak [Korean Cultural Anthropology]. She also writes for Kyunghyang Shinmun, a major newspaper in South Korea, on animal issues.

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