Gangnam Dream: Questions on Place-dreaming, Class Reproduction, and Mothering (70739)

Session Information: Society & Culture/Urban Studies
Session Chair: Yu-Li Wang

Saturday, 27 May 2023 15:35
Session: Session 4
Room: Room 704
Presentation Type:Oral Presentation

This study examines the relationship between the material and the imagined aspects of Gangnam, a district in Seoul, South Korea, that has come to embody the aspirations of the urban middle class for upward social mobility since its construction in the 1970s. While Gangnam has gained global recognition through the popular song "Gangnam-Style" and the conspicuous consumerism it portrays, it is also renowned for its expansive apartment complexes and clusters of extra-curricular education institutions, rendering it an attractive destination for middle-class families seeking quality education for their children and speculative housing investments that promise a prosperous future for the next generation. From this vantage point, this study delves into how Gangnam as a material, tangible place interacts with Gangnam as a dreamed place, elucidating the idealization of Gangnam and class-reproductive practices in the South Korean context. Dream, in this context, is employed as a conceptual framework to capture the norms, ideals, fantasies, and emotions that correspond with reality and guide the path to the future. Place-dreaming is a geographical intervention in the framework of dream, questioning how a place is dreamed and this dream is collectively shared. The study centers on two crucial components of the Gangnam Dream that enable upward mobility and sustain the middle-class lifestyle: housing and education. It also focuses on the pivotal role of mothers as key agents who manage household finances and care for children.

Yeryun Hong, Syracuse University, United States

About the Presenter(s)
Ms Yeryun Hong is a University Doctoral Student at Syracuse University in United States

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00