« Contests of Power: Korean Women’s Modes of Association inside the Factories, 1910-1945 »

Le 4 mai 2012,

dans le cadre du séminaire pluridiscilinaire du CRC,

Janice Kim, invitée de l’EHESS

 (York University, Toronto, Canada)

donnera une conférence

« Contests of Power: Korean Women’s Modes of Association inside the Factories, 1910-1945 »

de 14h à 16h au Grand Salon,

Maison de l’Asie, 22 avenue du Président Wilson, Paris 16e.

Consultez le programme de conférences CRC de l’année 2011-2012


This presentation offers an alternate and intimate interpretation of factory women in colonial Korea and their avenues of action and empowerment. First, it examines some of the largest general strikes of the early colonial era (1910–37) organized by women in medium- to large-scale enterprises such as rubber shoemaking, cotton spinning, and weaving. Second, it analyzes protests in the silk-reeling and knitting sectors, unearthing the varieties of workers’ defiance and the intricacies of their alliances and identities. Although the Depression stimulated a sharp surge of labor demonstrations, how workers coalesced and presented their proposals diverged according to, among other factors, industrial-, local-, and labor-specific conditions. Rubber shoemakers, for example, gathered in large-scale, citywide, general strikes, whereas the spinners and weavers of cotton textile plants carried out factory-wide boycotts. The demonstrations of workers in both sectors were among the largest, best organized, and most widely documented uprisings of the colonial era. Mill operatives in knitting and silk-reeling projects, lacking the massive labor pools of rubber and cotton factories, protested more creatively. While knitting plants were small, they were decidedly urban. Thus, hosiery workers rallied in interfactory, citywide strikes. Silk reelers, fewer in their numbers and situated further apart from each other, instead, organized interfactory, company-wide boycotts. Striking in rounds throughout the various mills of the same company strengthened the bargaining power of silk-reelers.


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