The after-Effects of Gwangju Incidence after 37 Years: An Analysis of in-Depth Interviews of Those Who Experienced It

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 16:15
Oral Presentation
Young-Hee SHIM, School of Law, Hanyang University, Republic of Korea
Thirty-seven years have passed since the Gwangju Democratic Movement occurred in May, 1980. At that time many innocent students and citizens were cruelly beaten and/or shot to death by the army of their own nation. Even though the citizens of Gwangju have regained the damaged reputation as ‘commie’ later, the trauma of the terrible experience of being attacked by their own soldiers were very severe. This paper tries to show the after-effects of those people who observed and/or experienced the May massacre at Gwangju, Korea in 1980 by analyzing their biographies based on in-depth interviews of them in accordance with their life-course. The theoretical perspective to be used is Ulrich Beck’s theory of emancipatory catastrophism and the three conceptual lenses of violation of the sacred norms, anthropological shocks and catharsis or cosmopolitan morality. Meaning work through which they redefine the situation and themselves will also be analyzed, since meaning work might be able to lead them to cosmopolitan morality, not apocalyptic catastrophism.