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∙ Ph.D. dissertation Neighborhood Shopkeepers in Contemporary South Korea: Household, Work, and Locality available online (E-Thesis publications a the University of Helsinki). For printed copies, please contact me by e-mail.
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Monday, May 03, 2004

Politicis about family registers and Go-stop

Ohmynews has gathered four newly elected women parlamentarians for a discussion chaired by the journalist Kim-Sin Myeong-suk, presenter of the KBS media critique program Media Focus.

Picture from Ohmynews. ▲ 김신명숙씨(가운데)의 사회로 좌담회가 진행되고 있다. ⓒ 오마이뉴스 권우성

At least in the discussion the atmosphere is that there's a real chance that the hoju (戶主, "household head") system will be abolished. Chin Su-hûi (Jin Soo-hee?) of the Hannara party (GNP) says that even though the abolition is not on the party agenda, that with Park Geun-hye
as the party representative, the majority of the new male MPs won't oppose the abolition.
(In what hojôk is Park Geun-hye registered? Does she now have her own, or could she be under some of her brothers register? Can't remember whether she has older brothers, but as she
hasn't married, she at least hasn't been transferred to any other household's register.)
뭐라고 할까, does the new parliament have the resolution to change the system? The legislation has been on the making for a long long time, and my hunch is that the position of Confucian societies and lineage associations would not be as strong as to prevent this legislation,
but this has happened before.

No one needs proof that ROK is a Go-stop konghwaguk (Go-stop Republic), but there's just a small detail in a recent Ohmynews article, told by Yi Hae-ch'an (or Lee Hae-chan), the re-elected member of parliament from "my district" Gwanak-gu. There used to be a separate room for mainly Go-stop in party headquarters as well as in Seoul City Hall, where the "old guard" reporters
played Go-stop with politicians and gathered material for "insightful and deep" articles, which are in Yi Hae-ch'an's view lacking in today's media. This was apparently something Ohmy was not pleased to hear.
Can't recount here all the kinds of Go-stop games which have been created at least in a name, mainly as a political parody. Perhaps the most famous was Chun Doo-hwan Go-stop, in which the player who gets the card with a white round figure gets all the cards from the others or something - referring to Chun's bald head of course. Go-stop konghwaguk is a famous book from the late 80s - not sure though if the phrase is from the book or if it just used a popular theme in its title. (While browsing for some info on the book, I found out that the author Lee Ho-gwang has just recently passed away. A strange feeling to visit a homepage of a recently died person, who has administered the page close to the end.)

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