Korean comfort women as political discourse

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Silcott, William
Demovic, Angela R.

Silcott, William and Alex Moon. 2013. Korean Comfort Women as Political Discourse -- In Proceedings: 9th Annual Symposium: Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p.77-78


In the dichotomy between force and agency in prostitution, the placement of comfort women, girls taken by Japan during WWII and forced into sex service, presents a clear field in which the question of agency fades. With the deep impacts of war intrinsically linked with comfort women, the issue of representation reemerges as a potent symbol in post-war peace. This paper examines the realities and symbols of Korean comfort women as it relates to Japanese relations. Jeffrey Alexander's theory of cultural trauma will be applied to the process of these representations and establishing these women as both victims and survivors, not only contained to personal perseverance but also as a powerful, living symbols in the building of images of Korea.

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Paper presented to the 9th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Marcus Welcome Center, Wichita State University, May 8, 2013.
Research completed at the Department of Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences