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The Way of Survival in a Neo-Liberal Age in the Television Drama <Seulgiroun Gamppangsaenghwal>

  • The Journal of Korean drama and theatre
  • 2018, (60), pp.165-203
  • DOI : 10.17938/tjkdat.2018..60.165
  • Publisher : The Learned Society Of Korean Drama And Theatre
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Received : May 9, 2018
  • Accepted : June 15, 2018

Park, Sang-Wan 1

1충남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The television drama <Seulgiroun Gamppangsaenghwal>(Prison Playbook) depicts a process of reformation among inmates of various crimes through mutual interactions. This paper presents an investigation into prison life depicted in the drama and its meanings. The prison inmates were reorganized into a capitalist community around the main character Kim Jehyeok that had both money and reputation. As a result, they would commit violence and expediency in the name of the community protection or profit. Such acts were, however, depicted and advocated as proper acts for the group where you and I belonged. Within the reorganized capitalist community, those who hindered economic reproduction were embodied as negative figures. The individuals with no economic value were excluded from the community both in the present and the future. It was effort and sacrifice that was emphasized in the process. Those who made efforts for success enabled economic reproduction, and their efforts were beautified as sacrifice for the entire group. In a neo-liberal society maintained by individual effort and sacrifice, such effort and sacrifice would be presented as success stories. In the South Korean society, neo-liberalism had been predicted already at the stage of capitalist market economy. Neo-liberalism settled down by getting tacit agreement from the members of the society since the 1990s. This explains the ambivalent emotions about the way of survival called effort and success stories in a neo-liberal age depicted in <Seulgiroun Gamppangsaenghwal>. Living in a neo-liberal age, the members of the South Korean society have both disillusionment and yearning for success stories based on effort.

Citation status

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