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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Getting Married in Korea: Of Gender, Morality, and Modernity Paperback – May 31, 1996

3.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This book is and is not about Korean weddings. It explores the meaning and importance of getting married in late-twentieth-century Korea, but it is also concerned with weddings as flash points of argument about the past and the present, about the desirability of women and men, and about what it means to be Korean in a shifting and intensely commodified milieu.

About the Author

Laurel Kendall is Curator of Asian Ethnographic Collections at the American Museum of Natural History. Her previous books include Shamans, Housewives, and Other Restless Spirits: Women in Korean Ritual Life (1985) and The Life and Hard Times of a Korean Shaman: Of Tales and the Telling of Tales (1988).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 269 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (May 31, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520202007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520202009
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,821,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book for anyone who wants to learn more about Korean culture in general or is looking for info spacifically on weddings. It is easy to read and understand the concepts. Despite being packed with information, the book does not overwhelm.
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Format: Paperback
An at times funny read of the intersection of two cultures. One is the modern consumerist culture, that has taken firm hold in South Korea since the 1980s. The other is a traditional Confucian morality steeped in centuries of lore.
Kendall studies this through the ingenious choice of marriages. Here, the Confucian traditions often appear in the form of arranged marriages. Yet she shows how young couples persistently try to sidestep this format.
Along the way, a non-Korean reader is also rewarded by many insights into Korean society. Things that an outsider who does not speak the language would simply miss.
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Format: Paperback
Laurel Kendall first came to Korea in the early 1970s as a Peace Corps volunteer. She returned in 1976 as a graduate student observing ancestor rituals (yotamkut) in rural households and healing ceremonies (kut) by female mediums (mansin, mudang, posal). In 1983, she began a project on weddings by attending marriage ceremonies in the wedding halls of a small town located near the village where she conducted her first fieldwork. Between 1983 and 1985, during several trips to Korea, she interviewed a sample of about thirty couples as well as members of their families in long, semi-structured interviews. She asked newly-wed couples how they met with each other, how they dealt with their future parents-in-law, how they financed ceremonies and what kind of gifts they exchanged. In subsequent years, she continued to accumulate data by monitoring how marriage was discussed in the popular media and in everyday conversations. She also visited regularly her first host family and witnessed how her Omoni’s three daughters got married. She also researched in history books and ethnographic archives how marriage had evolved since the Joseon period and through the tumultuous twentieth century. Getting Married in Korea, published in 1996, is the result of this accumulated experience and observations.

Studying weddings is a classic in cultural anthropology. Weddings are rites of passage or ceremonies of initiation by which the groom and the bride change social status and enter full membership in society. They reflect alliance strategies between two families or lineages who contract relations of mutual support and reciprocity.
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