The Rise of Civil Society in Transforming the South Korean Mediascape
This paper examines how civil society in South Korea emerged as a social force, and developed a regionally distinctive relationship with the state. I argue that political, institutional and cultural factors are no less crucial than the nature of economic relations in accounting for South Korean civil society formation. I explore the dialectical, both synergistic and contradictory, relationship between the state and national civil society and its political and social consequences historically. For example, the dynamic interplay between the formal and informal structures of political power and the role of various civic organizations in political and other processes of social transformation are discussed. I also examine the complex relationship between the state and civil society that should be more productively theorized in terms of mutual empowerment and synergy in the sense that civic organizations and groups have contending or negotiating power. Hence, observers should bear in mind an alternative hypothesis that different historical conditions are determining factors for structural changes in the political and cultural spheres, especially given an era of globalization.
Keywords: State, Civil Society, Mediascape, Public Sphere, South Korea, Chaebol, Globalization
Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Honam University