Reading List: Homophobia and the Snail Family in Korea: Reflections on Changes in Intimacy

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Back when I first got to Korea, I was fresh out of university and still in a very ‘gotta learn everything’ type of mentality when it came to Korea. I bought a lot of books that first year, and Byun Hea-joung’s Homophobia and the Snail Family in Korea: Reflections on Changes in Intimacy was the first academic article I read on homosexuality in Korea. It was one of many articles in Social Change in Korea published by the Korea Herald. I don’t know whatever happened to that anthology, but I stumbled upon the article again the other day and wanted to share it with my readers.

Back when I first got to Korea, I was fresh out of university and still in a very ‘gotta learn everything’ type of mentality when it came to Korea. I bought a lot of books that first year, and Byun Hea-joung’s Homophobia and the Snail Family in Korea: Reflections on Changes in Intimacy was the first academic article I read on homosexuality in Korea. It was one of many articles in Social Change in Korea published by the Korea Herald. I don’t know whatever happened to that anthology, but I stumbled upon the article again the other day and wanted to share it with my readers.

The article starts with comparing the arbitrary system the author’s daughter places on her collection of snails with how society can construct an arbitrary system determining what constitutes a family. The lives of snails or people, however, do not fit into these black and white categories. Byun continues by discussing paternalism, masculinity and femininity, blended families, and society’s perception of the burgeoning queer community. Not the most comprehensive read…

The entire article is available in English on Naver.



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