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Demythologization of Female Smokers in Korean Films

Authors: Yoojin Chung


Compare to western cultures, women who smoke in Korea are not tolerated. Korean people are prejudiced against women smoking. In spite of the relative prevalence of sexual equality in South Korea, women too often feel obliged to confine their smoking to only a few public spaces, such as designated smoking rooms, coffee shops or pubs. Korean Confucianism classifies people according to gender and social status. According to Confucian culture, cigarettes convey clear social meanings as well as reinforcing status, age and gender, beyond personal preferences. For these reasons, the significant of people smoking in Korea varies according to their gender. This study will determine reasons for the ongoing sexual discrimination against female Korean smokers thorough analyzing Korean films. Since film is a medium reflects social phenomenon. Roland Barthes- Mythology Theory will be used to analyze films.

Keywords: Mythology, Korean Films, Sexual discrimination, Women Smoking

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[2] In-Sook Nahm, "Discourses on the Negative Image of Female Smokers in Korea," in 2002 Proc. Korean Social Theory Conf., p134.
[3] Suk Hui Yi, "Smoking Patterns of Adult Women in Korea," Graduate school of public health, Inje University, 2002, p.1
[4] Eunryeong Chung, "Cruel history of smoking women", Dong-A Daily News, May, 29th, 2004, 35p
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[7] Roland Barthes, "Mythologies", trans. Hyun Chung, Seoul: Hyundai Mihaksa, 1995, pp.69-70
[8] In-sik Kim "Study on poetics of Roland Barthes's Semiotics", Sung-gyungwan University, 1983, p.29
[9] Roland Barthes, "Mythologies", trans. Annette Lavers, New York: Hill and wang, 2000, p.115
[10] Ibid (8) pp.114-115
[11] Ibid (6) p.243
[12] Junho Woo, "Contemporary aspects of Samganf-Oryun", 2007, Ehwa press, pp. 162-177.
[13] Hanna Goh, "Analysis of discourses on smoking and gender in Korea during 1920-30" Seoul National University, 2003, p.19
[14] Lisa Tuttle, "Encyclopedia of feminism", Hye-ryun Yu Tarns. Seoul: Dongmunsa, 1999, p.162