RETHINKING THE CONSEQUENCES OF POSTCOLONIAL AND POSTDIVISION KOREA Colonialism and Contested Membership: Shifting Sense of Belonging and Postcolonial Division in Korea
In this article I address explanations of postcolonial state formation in Korea. Focusing on the impact of Japanese colonial legacies on Korea in the early period of US occupation, I examine how the historical experience of colonial rule reformulated people`s perception of collective membership in the national community, thereby conditioning and shaping Korea`s postcolonial division. I pay particular attention to the historically shifting nature of collective identity and sense of belonging. My argument is that the significance of colonialism lies not merely in its institutional reproduction but especially in relational changes of the indigenous people and in reconstructing the meaning of nation and political community.