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∙ Current position: Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher, Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki
∙ 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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Sunday, November 06, 2005

closing the shop

Ohmynews has an story of closing a video shop after 12 years of operation, written by the keeper herself. The income from the shop - not more than 800 000 W a month in the better times in 1990s - had now dwindled to some 240 000 a month. The shop, originally only 5 pyeong (17 sq.m) seemed to be getting established, when they had to face competition from a 40-pyeong shop across the street. They expanded to the emptied shop space next floor, and managed to make profit after hard work, but the better times did not last long. The big competitor across the street closed, which was a sign of the decline of the whole branch facing new forms of entertainment (games) and new routes of more or less legal distribution (internet). Most of the video shops in the vicinity have closed.

The "IMF era" has been a common point of comparison when lamenting economic difficulties especially among the self-employed ever since the economic crisis, and here it is used in the normal manner:
It's not only me, but many self-employed around here are having a hard time. Sighs like "it wasn't this difficult even during the IMF" can be heard everywhere.

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