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The Cultural Significance of “Financial Automation” in 1990s South Korea―In the Context of Neoliberal Globalization and Financial Transparency

Han Sang Kim 1

1아주대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper defines the turning point of the “automation” discourse in South Korea as the 1990s, especially when the discourse and technologies of “financial automation” spread in the society, by analyzing the popular narratives in the media at the time. The “automation” discourse previously centered on a rather playful imagination of a hopeful future but, at this turn, connected with a sense of anxiety over an inhuman and cold-hearted dystopia. To examine this, the paper traces the trajectory of the “automation” discourses in South Korea and, based on that historicization, investigates the representations of financial automation in the films of the 1990s. It explores the transition from the 1980s when the automation technology and its mobility system were embraced as the objects of amusement and admiration in a consumer utopia to the 1990s when the financial transparency became the spirit of the times in that neoliberal globalization visualized the individual’s everyday life in the flow of financial automation.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.