[KS] New book announcement

bradshaw at hawaii.edu bradshaw at hawaii.edu
Mon Oct 13 14:36:02 EDT 2003

The Melodrama of Mobility: Women, Talk, and Class in Contemporary South Korea
by Nancy Abelmann
has just appeared from University of Hawai`i Press <www.uhpress.hawaii.edu>.

How do people make sense of their world in the face of the breakneck speed 
of contemporary social change? Through the lives and narratives of eight 
women, The Melodrama of Mobility chronicles South Korea's experience of 
just such dizzyingly rapid development. Abelmann captures the mood, 
feeling, and language of a generation and an era while providing a rare 
window on the personal and social struggles of South Korean modernity. 
Drawing also from television soap operas and films, she argues that a 
melodramatic sensibility speaks to South Korea's transformation because it 
preserves the tension and ambivalence of daily life in unsettled times. The 
melodramatic mode helps people to wonder: Can individuals be blamed for 
their social fates? How should we live? Who can say who is good or bad? By 
combining the ethnographic tools of anthropology, an engagement with 
prevailing sociological questions, and a literary approach to personal 
narratives, The Melodrama of Mobility offers a rich portrait of the 
experience of compressed modernity in the non-West.

Nancy Abelmann is associate professor of anthropology, East Asian languages 
and cultures, and women's studies at the University of Illinois at 
Urbana-Champaign; she is also a teaching faculty member of Asian American 

Cloth ISBN: 0-8248-2596-9; Paper ISBN: 0-8248-2749-X

Joel Bradshaw
Journals & Web Manager
University of Hawai`i Press
2840 Kolowalu Street, Honolulu, HI 96822
tel 808-956-6790; fax 808-988-6052

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