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Title:Media control and propaganda in occupied Korea, 1945-1948: Toward an origin of cultural imperialism
Author(s):Cha, Jae Young
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Guback, Thomas
Department / Program:Communications
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, Asia, Australia and Oceania
Political Science, International Law and Relations
Mass Communications
Abstract:This discussion analyzes the history and origins of a case of cultural imperialism through examining media control and propaganda activities during the 1945-1948 U.S. occupation of South Korea.
The analysis centers on the role of the U.S. Occupation--comprised of agencies and officials, their actions and effects--that functioned as part of the U.S. postwar plan to incorporate Korea into the capitalist world system under U.S. hegemony.
The hypothesis is that the U.S. Occupation, as both an extrapolative state and a branch of the imperial state, attempted to transplant the American libertarian media system and American cultural values into Korean society as integral parts of a maneuver to construct a foundation for permanent U.S. domination and exploitation in South Korea. I found that the U.S. Occupation intervened in the ideological and cultural institutions and practices in South Korea, but in a different way than I had initially expected.
Without instituting any of the reform and reorientation programs that the U.S. and its allies carried out in Germany and Japan, the U.S. Occupation in South Korea used widely repressive and violent measures to stop the ongoing social revolution and to eliminate the indigenous leftist forces. In the process, the U.S. Occupation undermined all leftist mass organizations. As a result, the U.S. Occupation substantially destroyed the domain of Korean civil society and bequeathed an "overdeveloped society." At the same time, the U.S. Occupation strictly controlled the Korean media and operated its own media as propaganda. Media control and propaganda activities of the U.S. Occupation are seen as most remarkable examples of the wider intervention into Korean civil society.
In sum, this dissertation shows that the origin of cultural imperialism in South Korea was not a straightforward transplantation of U.S. libertarian media institutions and practices. Instead, the roots of the cultural imperialism lay in the inadvertent construction of an authoritarian media system that, through the strict media control and extensive propaganda activities of the U.S. Occupation, transmitted libertarian ideology and U.S. culture into the minds and lives of South Koreans.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Cha, Jae Young
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9503155
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9503155

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