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Pyongyang Department Store’s and Urban Image Sales Strategy: The Collage and Parody

  • Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Abbr : JAPS
  • 2021, 28(1), pp.97-125
  • DOI : 10.18107/japs.2021.28.1.004
  • Publisher : Institute of Global Affairs
  • Research Area : Social Science > Social Science in general
  • Received : February 1, 2021
  • Accepted : March 15, 2021
  • Published : March 30, 2021

Heejin Park 1

1동국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article investigates whether it is reasonable to interpret the North Korean department store space as a message of reform entering the consumption era. It further aims to track the process of uniting the aspirations of the state and the people by assessing whether it is appropriate to interpret it as a result subordinate to the government's governing strategy. After Kim Jong-un came to power, North Korea has been focusing on economic revival sufficient to make full use of its urban sales strategy as a national strategy. The urban commercialization process is being executed with cultural processes through the discourse of socialist civilization. In particular, the urban sales strategy modernizes the department store space and utilizes it as a collage element with commercial facilities; it was revealed that the department store in Pyongyang has transformed its identity as a space for vision and service in the past, and has been reorganized into a complex cultural space favored by civilized city dwellers. Consequently, department stores in Pyongyang cannot be interpreted as a result of the augmented consumption level of North Koreans. By lowering the threshold of a department store to induce a variety of spatial experiences, it was considered reasonable to interpret it as a symbolic cultural space and a space of the system, such as the production effect of imitation of global trends, consumption education, and cultural promotion.

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.