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Labor-narrative of Placelessness and Affective Alienation - Focusing on the Overlapping of Borders in Korean Teacher -

  • Journal of Popular Narrative
  • 2024, 30(2), pp.163-194
  • DOI : 10.18856/jpn.2024.30.2.005
  • Publisher : The Association of Popular Narrative
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Interdisciplinary Research
  • Received : May 15, 2024
  • Accepted : June 18, 2024
  • Published : June 30, 2024

Kim Nahyun 1

1용인대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article aims to examine the affective labor in Seo Su-jin’s novel Korean Teacher published in 2020. This novel illustrates the affective alienation of KSL(Korean as a Second Language) teachers in KLI(Korean Language Institute). As a place of education that embodies the ideology of globalization, KLI, which have been newly established in large numbers around 1990, continue to serve as a borderland of different languages, cultures, customs, and institutions. Therefore, the labor of KSL teachers is affective and multi-layered, as they must teach Korean while facing the various differences that arise in this place. Seo’s novel is important because it is the first text to explore the specificity of the KLI and the affective labor issued of KSL teachers deeply. Chapter 1 examines the status of the KLI as a borderland, and Chapter 2 examines the ways in which the teachers and students of the KLI exist as floating identities. Chapter 3 traces the reality of highly educated, irregular female workers that the novel exposes, and Chapter 4 examines the deployment of power and knowledge in the KLI as the Foucauldian ‘heterotopia’ and points out the implications of the narrative of the labor of placelessness. Finally, Chapter 5 shows that borders are socially constructed through the figure of the worker on the overlapping borders. This article is significant in that it examines the imagination of contemporary literature by reading the place of the novel as a place where various dividing lines pass and as a place that constitutes those dividing lines, and examines one aspect of today’s Korean social problems.

Citation status

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