The Rhetorical Landscape of Itaewon: Negotiating New Transcultural Identities in South Korea
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Media and Communication
Alberto González (Advisor)
Hyeyoung Bang (Committee Member)
Radhik Gajjala (Committee Member)
Ellen Gorsevski (Committee Member)
In contemporary scholarship, space has emerged as a significant topic. Specifically in communication studies, the critical interrogation of persuasive strategies performed by spatial locations can provide scholars with the perspectives needed to adequately attend to identity politics within built environments. Drawing on the previous scholarship on space, place, and human-built environment, I elaborate the need for and benefits of defining a landscape in rhetorical terms. While developing the concept of rhetorical landscape, which directs attention to relational matters in space, this study examines the discursive changes and shifts involved in (re)imagining South Korea amidst various intersecting forces such as 20th century Cold War geopolitics, American hegemony, modernization, Americanization, nationalism, and multiculturalism. I analyze how the urban district called Itaewon, as synecdochic of Korean society and culture, spatially communicates the ever-changing rhetoric of Korean identity-building. By understanding sectors in Itaewon – such as streets, alleys, and particular places – as metonymic of conflicting ideas at historical junctures, I illuminate both the rhetoricity Itaewon embodies and its rhetoric elaborated through the dynamics among constituents configured on the landscape. I examine Itaewon as a site that negotiates transcultural identities as it mediates political, social, and cultural forces.
Lee, Eun Young, "The Rhetorical Landscape of Itaewon: Negotiating New Transcultural Identities in South Korea" (2015). Media and Communication Ph.D. Dissertations. 26.