chapter  6
28 Pages

Women and civil society in South Korea


Since the spread of popular protests against authoritarian regimes in Asia and other parts of the world in the 1970s and 1980s, there has been a growing interest in the study of civil society as a vehicle of democratization and a counterweight to the repressive state and the totalizing market (Silliman and Noble 1998; White 1996; Koo 1993; Cohen and Arato 1992; Gold 1990; Keane 1988). However, as recent criticisms of the celebration of civil society as the “third path” to societal democratization point out, such analyses tend to lapse into abstract discussions of relations between the state and civil society, devoid of a specific historical or social context (Fine 1997; Tempest 1997; Blaney and Pasha 1993). This absence also contributes to an inadequate view of civil society as a uniform and homogeneous space without social inequalities and divisions.