This INDIVIDUAL PAPER may be viewed by clicking the blue VIEW PRESENTATION button (located across from the presenter's name/below the title) OR the View Presentation in the footer of this pop-up.
The Economic Orphan: Neoliberal Co-authored Subjects and Orphanhood in Kim Yŏng-ha’s Quiz Show
Individual Paper Presenter(s)
University of California, Riverside, United States
Orphanhood and nonnormative family structures in Korean literature have often been explored in relation to their historical contexts. For protagonists who lack a biological father due to death, defection to the North, or illegitimate birth status scholars view these protagonists as unconsciously searching for alternative father figures. These father figures take on particular symbolic meaning and often represent the search for a greater political or ideological meaning. Yet the trope of the orphan in growth narratives have never been evaluated exclusively in economic terms. This paper seeks to examine the commonly used troupe of the orphan protagonist in Kim Yŏng-ha’s Quiz Show (2007) to illustrate how orphanhood in the early 2000s lays bare the economic structures that not only determine the parameters for life but for growth. The framework of the economic orphan allows for a deeper understanding of the ways that the normative family structure provides support for individuals in post-IMF Crisis Korea and elucidates the importance of the family as a site of the production of competitive human capital, a fact that is often overshadowed by the individualistic discourses of neoliberal subjecthood that place personal responsibility and entrepreneurship as the highest values. Reexamining the importance of familialism as a product of the neoliberal state against economic orphanhood allows us to better understand the contradictions of such neoliberal technologies of the self that have come to increasingly define subjecthood in the twenty-first century.