The Female Worker: From Home to the Factory

Theodore Jun Yoo

in The Politics of Gender in Colonial Korea

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780520252882
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520934153 | DOI:
The Female Worker: From Home to the Factory

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This chapter explores the transition of Korean women from the home to the factories during a period of rapid industrialization when colonial authorities reorganized the labor force through an intense sexual division of labor. The yŏgong, or factory girl, emerged as a new social category at this time, reshaping Korean notions of work and class. This new female workforce experienced dramatic transformations in work ethics, living patterns, family relations, and worldviews. By focusing on three feminized industries, this chapter analyzes how gender shaped the politics of work and intersected with the meaning of class.

Keywords: rapid industrialization; sexual division of labor; yŏgong; factory girl; female workforce

Chapter.  10415 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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