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Good Housing for Good “Married Life”: Privacy, Transnational Anti-Communism, and Postwar Housing in South Korea

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2022

Na Sil Heo*
Affiliation:
University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA

Abstract

This article examines postwar housing in South Korea as a transnational project in the Cold War milieu. Privacy (p’ŭraibŏshi) became a central architectural concern in South Korea after the Korean War (1950–53), as Korean architects negotiated their understanding of good, modern housing in the midst of deepening interactions with American architectural knowledge. A call for the construction of independent children's rooms was linked to the belief that good housing should also ensure the sexual privacy of the married couple. This article argues that architects construed privacy to be a value that was attached to liberal democracies and that reflected postwar fantasies and desires for a democratic living in contradistinction to its North Korean counterpart. In this way, housing became a site of transnational anti-communism, as architects and aspiring homeowners invested much energy in the ideological and material construction of privacy as a salient feature of modern housing.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 2022

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