Book Talk & Panel Discussion: Rights Claiming in South Korea

Book Talk & Panel Discussion: Rights Claiming in South Korea
Book Talk & Panel Discussion: Rights Claiming in South Korea

Event Description

In this webinar, co-editors Celeste Arrington and Patricia Goedde will introduce their new book Rights Claiming in South Korea (published by Cambridge University Press) with fellow chapter contributor Erin Chung (Johns Hopkins University). Sociologists Paul Chang (Harvard) and Hae Yeon Choo (University of Toronto) will discuss the edited volume’s findings and contributions to our understanding of rights-based activism in contemporary South Korea.

People in South Korea have defined and articulated diverse grievances as rights violations and engaged in claims-making to remedy them. In what institutional contexts does such rights claiming occur, and what sources of support are available for utilizing different claims-making channels? This edited volume illuminates rights in action by investigating how rights are interpreted and acted upon via petitions, court claims, protest, and other legal mobilization methods. Our research shows that rights claims are diversifying in Korea and opportunities and resources for rights claiming have improved. But obtaining rights protections and catalyzing social change remains challenging. Contributors from across the social sciences analyzed original interviews, court rulings and statutes, primary sources in archives and online, and news media coverage in Korean. The chapters uncover conflicts over contending rights claims, expose disparities between law on the books and law in practice, trace interconnections among rights and movements, and map emerging trends in the use of rights language. Case studies include women, workers, people with disabilities, migrants, and sexual minorities.

Since the book launch will be conducted virtually, most of the volume’s contributors will join the discussion from three continents.


Celeste Arrington, George Washington University
Patricia Goedde, Sungkyunkwan University
Erin Aeran Chung, Johns Hopkins University

Hae Yeon Choo, University of Toronto
Paul Y. Chang, Harvard University

Jisoo M. Kim, GW Institute for Korean Studies


Sponsored by GW Institute for Korean Studies and Sigur Center for Asian Studies