Nationalism, colonialism, settler colonialism, anti-colonialism: Jin-Yeon Kang, ‘The Dynamics of Nation, State and People Japanese Colonialism and Nationalist Discourses in Korea’, Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 2015
Abstract: Nationalism plays a critical role in creating and reformulating collective identity and membership in a political community, notably the nation-state. Yet precisely how it does so and with what consequences for the colonial society remains unclear. Tracing the change of nationalist discourses during the Japanese colonial period in Korea, this essay examines the mechanism through which various forms of anticolonial nationalism provoked ideological schism among indigenous people. It directs particular attention to how Korean nationalist groups integrated notions of the ‘nation’ and ‘people’ into their anticolonial narratives in different ways and why they engaged in political and ideological conflicts among themselves through their interactions with the colonial state. Highlighting the fragmentation of the ‘nation’, ‘state’ and ‘people’ through the dynamics of nationalist groups and colonial power, the essay advances the argument that Japanese colonialism led to internal boundaries in Korea, thus rearticulating the meaning and people’s perception of the nation and a sense of belonging. Based on this historical analysis, the essay illuminates the effect of a colonial context as a particular political field upon the formulation of nationalist frameworks.
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