[KS] minjok, minjung, and a miscellaneous item

Fri Jul 27 14:34:36 EDT 2007

Dear List Members,

I'm trying to find a good translation of the word "minjok," and wonder
what's already out there that conveys the meaning adequately? I believe
"minjok euisik" is sometimes translated "national consciousness," which
feels pretty close to the Korean term in most of the contexts it's
used, but somehow the parallel "national history" for "minjoksa" seems
to weaken the connotation of "minjok" (which might also be translated
"race" or "ethnic group"). Any ideas? Specifically, I'm trying to give
an English approximation for a book titled, Minjoksawa Cheonjugyohoe (Minjok History and the Catholic Church)
that examines the role of the Catholic Church in the development of the
modern Korean nation beginning in the 19th c., but including Catholic
involvement in social justice issues during the later 20th century.

On a related note, are there any agreed-upon translations of "minjung"
in Korean Studies circles? For instance, is there a way to convey
"minjung-eui dongyo" without resorting to something reductionist or
Marxist when the phrase refers to indigenous movements and
uprisings of the common populace as early as the mid 19th c.? Also, out of curiosity, what are
some preferred translations of the term "minjung gayo" that refers to
the genre of music popular with the student demonstrators of the 80s?
I've heard "people's songs" or "songs of the masses," and I often
explain it to non-Koreans as being similar to American folk-rock. Some
representative singers from back then:
Jeong Taechun & Bak Eunok, An Chihwan (although his more recent
music might not quite fit), Kim Min'gi... As a former student-activist friend of mine once commented, you can almost smell the makgeolli when you listen to Jeong Taechun...

Finally (nostalgia aside) I'm trying to locate a journal called "The Journal of
International Comparative Korean Studies" OR "The Journal of
Comparative Korean Studies." Two different bibliographic references of
the same article gave these two slightly different journal titles, but
searches (including on major periodical list databases in my univ. library) have unearthed
no such journal so far. Any leads?

Thanks very much for your time and attention,

Deberniere T.
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