Sam Han
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Being alone
The political theology of the development citizen
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This chapter investigates the political theology of development in South Korea through an analysis of trends in popular and media culture in the context of its unique circumstances vis-à-vis modernity, which scholars have dubbed ‘compressed modernity’. It focuses on the cultural production of ‘development citizenship’, which demands self-reliance and resilience for the sake of national development. It argues that the recent upsurge in discourse and media associated with solitude, including reality TV programs on living alone, mukbang (a portmanteau, which translates to ‘eating broadcast’), and drinking alone, serves to prioritise the concerns of the nation and its agenda for development through methods that can be understood as both theological and mediatised.

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