The Hope And Crisis Of Pragmatic Transition: Politics, Law, Anthropology, And South Korea
This dissertation demonstrates how the urgent condition of crisis is routine for many non-governmental (NGO) and non-profit organization (NPO) workers, activists, lawyers, social movement analysts, social designers and ethnographers. The study makes a contribution to the increasing number of anthropological, legal, pedagogical, philosophical, political, and socio-legal studies concerned with pragmatism and hope by approaching crisis as ground, hope as figure, and pragmatism as transition or placeholder between them. In effect this work makes evident the agency of the past in the apprehension of the present, whose complexity is conceptualized as scale, in order to hopefully refigure ethnography's future role as an anticipatory process rather than a pragmatic response to crisis or an always already emergent world. This dissertation is based on over two years of fieldwork inside NGOs, NPOs, and think tanks, hundreds of conversations, over a hundred interviews, and archival research in Seoul, South Korea. The transformation of the "386 generation" and Roh Moo Hyun's presidency from 2003 to 2008 serve as both the contextual background and central figures of the study. This work replicates the historical, contemporary, and anticipated transitions of my informants by responding to the problem of agency inherent in crisis with a sense of scale and a rescaling of agency. I demonstrate this scale of agency-ideology, field, sacrifice, discourse, project, and agenda-along with its double bind entanglements. In so doing this dissertation shows the utopian and post-utopian hope in rescaling kinship from filiation to affiliation and rescaling agency from person to movement and from revolution to social design. Ultimately, this dissertation demonstrates the importance of scale and its shifts in the generation and sustainability of hope for NGO and NPO workers, activists, lawyers, social movement analysts, social designers, and ethnographers alike.
hope; crisis; pragmatism
Langwick, Stacy A.; Miyazaki, Hirokazu; Janelli, Roger
Ph. D., Anthropology
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis