. The Lure and Danger of the Public Sphere


in Gender and Mission Encounters in Korea

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780520098695
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943780 | DOI:
. The Lure and Danger of the Public Sphere

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One of the most shocking realities that early missionaries found in Korea was the seclusion of women. Korean women were forbidden to go out and contribute to the prosperity of their society. They were confined to their own private homes, and this practice of seclusion and separation of the genders was the central illustration of the shockingly oppressive lifestyle that the Korean women led. This kind of practice was not known in Korea before the Choson dynasty came with the “Confucian transformation of Korea” that set the gender boundary. This chapter examines the ways in which the different social and cultural norms about women's proper domain held by the Korean and American missionaries were challenged, negotiated, and reshaped through their trans-cultural encounters. It traces the shifting and intersecting notions of the public and the private as a site of contest in refashioning gender ideology.

Keywords: Korea; women; gender boundary; gender; Choson

Chapter.  18797 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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