Global Financial Crisis| Recession and Progression? Notes on Media, Labor, and Youth from East Asia

Jack Linchuan Qiu, Yeran Kim


This article discusses how Korea and China responded to the 2008–2009 global economic crisis, with emphasis on a) public discourse and state policy, b) developments in media, especially new media, and c) conditions of labor and youth, the two overlapping groups that occupy marginalized social positions where seeds for change and progression are also to be found. Although each country has its distinct social and institutional legacy, the contemporary East Asian experiences converge in the prominence of the media, electronics, and information sector as an engine of economic growth that inevitably produces new labor and youth politics. This mode of production and its concurrent political dynamics have been severely affected by the financial meltdown. Because of a shared history of labor-intensive capital accumulation, collective memories of the Asian financial crisis a decade ago, and ongoing debates on the East Asian model of development, however, Korea and China are both in positions to transform the recession into an opportunities for social progression — as demanded by labor forces, old and new — for a viable alternative to the neoliberal doctrine.

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