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This article examines the early development of South Korean intercountry adoption to Sweden. It focuses particularly on two disruptions in the movement of children between the two nations, drawing on archival sources in Sweden, South Korea, and Denmark. The article demonstrates that South Korean–Swedish adoption was deeply bound up in the shifting Cold War relations within and between the Korean peninsula and Scandinavia in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Further, state actions and strategies during this time reveal that both governments actively utilized their Cold War foreign policy and positionality to shape adoption to meet their respective national interests. This study extends US-centered adoption scholarship by revealing broader implications of Cold War geopolitics in cross-border adoptions to Scandinavia and, more importantly, significant ways in which intercountry adoption challenged, altered, and constituted the Cold War relations and nation-building projects of both sending and receiving states.
Korean shantytowns existed in every large Japanese city from the postwar years through the late 1960s. Japanese people recall them as secluded, dirty, impoverished, and dangerous. To many scholars, their existence confirms the transwar continuity of Japanese oppression of underclass ethnic minorities. But zainichi Koreans who grew up in such slums, which they called tongne, offer inspirational stories and fond memories of living there. This article sheds light on Koreans’ postwar experiences by discussing the important sociopolitical functions of the tongne and their continuing symbolism among the zainichi population. Viewing the tongne as zainichi's postliberation place of origin and paying attention to the reproduction of its meanings in hakkyo (schools) helps us understand the uneven terrain of power relationships in zainichi society, including why the Chongryun exercised great cultural power at least until the 1970s.
This article explores critical shifts in the governance of religion amid massive urbanization and technological advances in contemporary China. Since the turn of the millennium, along with rapid urban transformation, the Chinese state has greatly expanded its reach into and surveillance of religious communities. At the same time, tensions between state initiatives and religious communities have come to the forefront of public attention. So far, scholarly attention has mostly focused on the repression of religious communities, especially Christians. The goal of this article is to highlight broader transitions in the ways religion is governed in China and to reflect on how these transitions should be understood alongside the government's social and political agendas. The advancement of technologies and the extension of the bureaucratic system to maintain control of a rapidly urbanizing society, I argue, have brought about a “technological turn” of secularism in China, which will have a far-reaching impact on religious life.
A number of nations have instituted group-specific institutions or “enclaves” for women. The assumption underpinning such bodies—physically distinct, autonomous units in which constituent members belong entirely to a particular group—is that the segregation of female administrators will better serve the interests of women by isolating them from patriarchal norms and practices. I scrutinize this assumption by examining India's experience with all-women police stations, and carry out eight months of ethnographic research in and around police stations across the states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. I find that while all-women police stations allow complainants to speak freely, they may also diminish capacity for female administrators working in law enforcement, create hurdles for victims of violence, and, in some ways, marginalize gender issues from the mainstream.
This essay proposes that “milk kinship,” which upper-class individuals in premodern Japan formed with their milk kin—a menoto (wet nurse) and a menotogo (foster sibling)—occupies the core of an institutionalized erotic fosterage. In this “menoto system,” the surrogate mother's lactating body and erotic-affective labor became the connective tissue to bind two interclass families, creating a symbiosis that fortified the existing sociopolitical power structures. Around the tenth century, many vernacular tales started to feature menoto characters. While a typical menoto is the protagonist's homely, asexual, motherly confidante, her derivative construct—the menotogo of the protagonist—is often cast in an erotic light. In the four texts examined in this essay, menotogo valorize their erotic agencies to benefit their charges through sexual-affective labor or through an indirect method. The latter entails the formation of a “love square” in which two menotogo become lovers and then help their respective charges do the same.
This article develops a feminist reading of the biographical action series featuring Ip Man, the Wing Chun grand master lionized for mentoring Bruce Lee, as a set of culturally inflected practices in order to probe the sociohistorical structure that embeds and overdetermines these productions and allows for new, subversive potentialities. Building upon situated engagement, my analysis traces how the hypermasculine violent yanggang aesthetic tradition takes on new life by reclaiming women's voices in the Ip Man film franchise. I also identify the ways in which this filmic remaking of Ip's life story builds an alternative embodiment that unsettles musculature as the ground of colonialist/nationalist dominance and lays the basis for a new horizon of justice encapsulated by the flexible and elastic “Be Water” sensibility. As human beings are facing the common threat posed by prevailing toxic masculinity, these lessons, I argue, are crucial for us to find a path through the turbulence and build a more peaceful world.