Second Edition

Women in Korean Politics

Second Edition

Chunghee Sarah Soh

Boulder: Westview Press (1993)


Publisher's announcement of the second edition

Chunghee Sarah Soh here contributes a unique perspective on women in politics by examining the experiences of Korean women in their national legislature. The major questions she raises are: Who are the women? How did they attain their political positions? What motivated their participation in male-dominated politics? What insights would an analysis of their personal and professional experiences provide to our understanding of complex processes of social change? How do the experiences of women in Korean politics compare with those of their counterparts in different nation-states?

By analyzing the life histories of twenty-nine women legislators in the South Korean National Assembly, Professor Soh illuminates many aspects of modern Korean society, as well as the dynamics of changing male-female relations and gender-role conceptions in a modernizing society. The author adds an important new dimension to the study of women in politics by situating her findings in the broader sociohistorical context of a "patriarchal democracy." Soh also provides cross-cultural comparative perspectives on such topics as family backgrounds, gender-role socialization, patterns of recruitment, and the impact of the electorial system on the representation of women in national politics.

In this new edition, the introductory and concluding chapters have been rewritten, and relevant parts in the text have been updated to reflect the fast pace of social change in South Korea.

Contents: Introduction. A Cultural Account. Family Backgrounds and Education. Other Personal Characteristics. Pathways to the National Assembly. Winning Legislative Seats. Patterns of Adaptive response. Private Meanings and Public Images. Conclusion.

September 1993; 173 pages (14 photos, map, tables, figure, notes, appendix, glossary, bibliography, index);
ISBN 0-8133-2041-0

Westview Press
5500 Central Avenue
Boulder, Colorado 80301-2877

Women in Korean Politics has been reviewed in Pacific Affairs (1994-95); Women's Studies International Forum (1995), and Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (1995).

Women in Korean Politics may be purchased online from Amazon.com Books.


The hardcover first edition of the above book is

First Edition

The Chosen Women in Korean Politics:

An Anthropological Study

Chung-Hee Soh

New York: Praeger Publishers (1991)

The Chosen Women in Korean Politics: An Anthropological Study was reviewed in The Journal of Asian Studies (1992); American Anthropologist (1993); Korea Journal (1993); Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars (1993); Korean Studies (1993); Women & Politics (1995).

Reviewer's Comments on the First Edition of

Women in Korean Politics


  "This is a pioneering work of extremely high quality. The prose is both lucid and highly readable. The analysis is subtle, creative, and enlightening. ... Chunghee Soh ... reveals more about how the National Assembly actually functions than anv formal account I have seen of this institution by a political scientist writing in English.

  "Dr. Soh's study ... illuminates many aspects of modern Korean society, as well as complex processes of social change. ... [This book] is more than an anthropological monograph. It is an important contribution to women's studies as well.  "
—Vincent S.R. Brandt, Korea Journal

  "Soh's work is a stimulating contribution to the underinvestigated field of gender in Korea, and to the broader comparative study of women in politics.  "
—Nancy Abelman, American Anthropologist

  "Chunghee Soh makes an important contribution to the study of women in South Korean politics. ... Soh's study canvasses women legislators' family and educational backgrounds, personal characteristics, their trajectories to the National Assembly, and their adaptation to male-dominated politics.... An important perspective on South Korean political culture and patriarchal power structures.  "
—John Lie, Journal of Asian Studies

  "A very welcome book, being the only study I know of dealing with women legislators in Korea. It not only provides detailed backgrounds and analysis of the careers of these women, but frequently makes useful comparisons with other societies. It also is particularly good at setting out the truly monumental obstacles to female political participation in South Korea, which remains a male bastion only outdone, perhaps, by Arab societies.  "
—Bruce Cumings, University of Chicago
The Chosen Women in Korean Politics may be purchased online from Amazon.com Books.

Mugunghwa  Back to Soh's home page.

Last updated 3/5/07 jdb