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Internet, Social Capital, and Democracy in the Information Age: Korea's Defeat Movement, the Red Devils, Candle Light Anti-U.S. Demonstration, and Presidential Election during 2000-2002

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... This information was not available in the mainstream media, and the web site received more than one million hits on the election days, bringing electoral defeat to the majority of the candidates mentioned in the report (see Rose, 2004). Furthermore, some researchers argue the dramatic victory of Roh Moo-hyun would not have happened in the absence of Korea's highly advanced broadband infrastructure and high penetration of mobile telephony (Han, 2002;Kim et al., 2004). Despite the last minute setback which happened when one of his main political supporters withdrew his support, Roh Moo-hyun won the presidential election, largely thanks to several citizen organizations that used the Internet and mobile phones to encourage vast numbers of young voters to vote for him (Han, 2002). ...
... Furthermore, some researchers argue the dramatic victory of Roh Moo-hyun would not have happened in the absence of Korea's highly advanced broadband infrastructure and high penetration of mobile telephony (Han, 2002;Kim et al., 2004). Despite the last minute setback which happened when one of his main political supporters withdrew his support, Roh Moo-hyun won the presidential election, largely thanks to several citizen organizations that used the Internet and mobile phones to encourage vast numbers of young voters to vote for him (Han, 2002). ...
... Using new communication technologies, numerous civic organizations united in demanding substantial reforms to the party nomination process. They were successful in their efforts, and the power of the party leaders was significantly eroded, making the whole nomination process more transparent and democratic (Han, 2002). Still, it can be concluded that probably the most important contribution of the Internet was in the domain of political mobilization and direct citizen participation in the election process, including fund-raising (see Kim et al., 2004). ...
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This comparative study explores cultural differences between two Asian societies, Singapore and South Korea, and argues that they have had an impact on the political uses of new communication technologies as well as on the patterns of their regulation and control. It is suggested that among other factors, the rise of Christianity and Protestantism in particular in Korea has contributed to a cultural shift towards more participatory and authority-challenging political culture. Evidence from the World Values Survey suggests that Singaporeans and South Koreans are indeed different when it comes to the traditional orientation towards authority and self-expression values. The study suggests that these cultural differences have led to two distinct trajectories of communication-technology-promoted political development.
... Until the early 1990s, South Korea was not a truly democratic society. This changed when its rapid economic expansion provided a population with a thirst for democracy and a high level of interest in politics in general (Han 2002). For example, the turnout for the 1997 election was 80.7% (Yun 2003), which is comparatively much greater than that of the United States. ...
... Despite huge investments in infrastructure, in terms of ICT usage patterns, Korea did not belong to the top group of nations at the time of the election. While it has progressively improved over the years, it ranked only 17 th in the year 2000, putting it into the middle group (Han 2002). However, the time people spent in front of a PC per week dramatically increased in the years leading up to 2000: it almost tripled compared to the year 1997. ...
... However, the time people spent in front of a PC per week dramatically increased in the years leading up to 2000: it almost tripled compared to the year 1997. Also, many Koreans equate PC usage with Internet use – 40% of Koreans in 2000 were connected to the Internet, an increase of 5 times during the 1997-2000 period (Han 2002). The prevalence of broadband Internet access over slower connections also seems to have a great effect on usage. ...
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This paper examines the impact of the Internet on politics in South Korea. Many have noted the Internet's political potential due to its versatile nature as a communication medium. However, recent studies are beginning to show the influence of the Internet to be more moderate than expected initially. South Korea represents a very interesting case because of its extremely high Internet penetration rate and its youthful democracy. Two specific cases – a political fan-club called 'Rohsamo' and the Internet news medium 'Ohmynews' – have attracted particular attention mainly because of their perceived pivotal role in the 2002 presidential election. In this paper the part played by Rohsamo and Ohmynews in Korean politics is examined. While the research does not support claims which place the Internet as a revolutionary political force, it shows that the Internet has the potential to be a major player in South Korean politics.
... Social researchers have also attempted to identify the impact of the information technology revolution on democratic governance [Han 2002;Putnam 2002]. Han [2002], for instance, demonstrates that Netizen activities in cyberspace have contributed to the substantial development of Korea's democracy. ...
... Social researchers have also attempted to identify the impact of the information technology revolution on democratic governance [Han 2002;Putnam 2002]. Han [2002], for instance, demonstrates that Netizen activities in cyberspace have contributed to the substantial development of Korea's democracy. This theory is supported by a series of social and political movements from 2000 to 2002. ...
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Social capital is a very influential concept in social science in understanding contemporary societies. It is found to directly and indirectly influence many aspects of social life, such as quality of life. It is also increasingly explored in relation to Information and Communications Technology (ICT). However, little is known about the relationship between ICT and social capital. The study of the relationship is still in its early stages and has not produced consistent results. This paper sets out to provide an analytical review of the literature focusing on the relationship between the two in order to understand how ICT affects social capital and vice versa. It begins by presenting a review of social capital and then builds a framework to classify and organize ICT related social capital studies. Using this framework, we provide an analysis of existing studies in the area. On the basis of this analysis, we identify three gaps in the ICT related social capital research: an imbalance in the levels of analysis between the collective and the individual levels, a lack of theoretical explanation of why and how social capital changes due to ICT, and the limited ability of the research findings to be generalized. We then make suggestions for future research.
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A familiar perspective on social change suggests that over the past several thousand years, human settlements have changed in size and complexity from hunting and gathering, to agricultural, to industrial, and most recently to information societies. Some theorists have recently suggested that the world may be moving into dream societies of icons and aesthetic experience. Evidence is presented here that indicates that South Korea may be leading the transition as it implements policies to base their economy on popular culture, perhaps eventually replacing “Gross National Product” as a measure of socioeconomic success with “Gross National Cool”.
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Preface (Patrick Köllner) Chronology 2006 (Susan Pares) Köllner, Patrick: ‘South Korea: ‘Domestic Politics and Economy 2006-07’ Frank, Rüdiger: ‘North Korea: Domestic Politics and Economy 2006-07’ Hoare, James: ‘Relations Between the Two Koreas 2006-07’ Hoare, James: ‘Foreign Relations of the Two Koreas 2006-07’ Hauben, Ronda: 'Online Grassroots Journalism and Participatory Democracy in South Korea' Schopf, James C.: ‘Corruption and the Lone Star Scandal’ Cherry, Judith: ‘Changing Perceptions of Inward Foreign Direct Investment in Post-Crisis Korea (1998-2006)’ Lee Chung H. and Kim Joon-Kyung: ‘Emergence of China and the Economy of South Korea’ Gelézeau, Valérie: ‘Korean Modernism, Modern Korean Cityscape and Mass Housing Production: Charting the Rise of Ap'at'u Tanji Since the 1960s’ Kwon Hoenik: ‘New Ancestral Shrines in South Korea’ Morris, Mark: ‘The Political Economy of Patriotism: The Case of Hanbando’ Carlin, Bob: ‘Negotiating with North Korea: Lessons Learned and Forgotten’ Beck, Peter, Gail Kim, and Donald MacIntyre: ‘Perilous Journeys: The Plight of North Koreans in China’ Zabrovskaya, Larisa: ‘A Brief History of the Sino-Korean Border From the 18th to the 20th Century’
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Social capital is one of the influential concepts in social science to understand contemporary societies. It has been found to influence many aspects of social life, directly or indirectly. It is also increasingly explored in relation to Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Nevertheless, social capital is a challenging variable to research, in part because of its multiple divergent definitions and measures. This paper presents and conducts a preliminary test of a model for understanding how ICT affects social capital. The model hypothesizes that the changes in social capital caused by ICT result from some degree of mobility in social interaction obtainable by using ICT over time. Principally, three types of mobility - temporal mobility, spatial mobility and contextual mobility - are identified. The preliminary test, using mobile phones as an example of ICT, was conducted in South Korea, which is one of the leading countries in mobile technology development. All three types of mobility are found to be important in explaining the impacts of mobile phones on social capital.
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