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Title:The Iconography of Kee -Chung Sohn in Korean Cultural Memory
Author(s):You, Yeanmi
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Sydnor, Synthia
Department / Program:Kinesiology and Community Health
Discipline:Kinesiology and Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anthropology, Cultural
Abstract:This is a dissertation about Kee-Chung Sohn (1912-2002), a Korean national hero, who has remained as a legendary figure in Korea since he won the gold medal in the marathon in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. His achievement has a great symbolic meaning to the Koreans because it happened during the Japanese colonization of the Korean peninsula, the most agonizing period in Korean history. Using secondary sources, the dissertation studies the biography of Sohn, including his early childhood and details his rise as a runner. From primary evidence, corporate advertisements and interviews the dissertation traces Sohn's image or iconography, as it has appeared in Korean history including after World War II, the 1980s and present-times. The main argument of the dissertation is that Sohn is an idealistic figure to the Korean people, especially those born before 1970, and that his legendary status has helped the Korean government and people through economic, military and cultural crisis. The dissertation makes a call to the Korean government that Sohn be better memorialized, suggesting that the use of the image of Sohn in Korean culture may be a key stimulus to South and North Korean unification.
Issue Date:2008
Description:235 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3337974
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2008

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