Paper $33.00 ISBN: 9780745336053 Published May 2016 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Cloth $99.00 ISBN: 9780745336107 Published May 2016 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada

Base Encounters

The US Armed Forces in South Korea

Elisabeth Schober

Base Encounters

Elisabeth Schober

Distributed for Pluto Press

224 pages | 5 1/3 x 8 1/2 | © 2016
Paper $33.00 ISBN: 9780745336053 Published May 2016 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Cloth $99.00 ISBN: 9780745336107 Published May 2016 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Base Encounters explores the social friction that US bases have caused in South Korea, where nearly 30,000 US soldiers remain stationed. Crimes committed in GI entertainment areas have been amplified by an outraged public as both a symbol for—and a symptom of—the uneven relationship between the United States and the small East Asian nation. Elisabeth Schober’s excellent ethnographic history scrutinises these controversial zones of encounter in and near Seoul. Sharing the lives of soldiers, female entertainers, and anti-base activists, she gives a comprehensive introduction to the social, economic, and political factors that have contributed to the tensions over US bases in South Korea.
Contents
Dedication
Notes on Text
Notes on Transliteration
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements 
1: Introduction: Violent Imaginaries and Base Encounters in Seoul
2: Capitalism Of The Barracks. Korea’s Long March to the 21st Century. 
3: “The Colonized Bodies Of Our Women…” Camptown Spaces as Vital Zones of the National Imagination. 
4: Vil(L)E Encounters: Transnational Militarized Entertainment Areas on the Fringes of Korea. 
5: It‘Aew n’s Suspence: Of American Dreams, Violent Nightmares, and Guilty Pleasures in the City 
6: Demilitarizing The Urban Entertainment Zone?: Hongdae and the US Armed Forces in the Seoul Capital Area
7: Conclusion: Seeds of Antagonism, Children of Discord. 
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Review Quotes
Choice

"Using ethnographic field research conducted in South Korea between 2007 and 2009, Schober explores the social friction created by US military bases and the entertainment districts that have evolved around them. After situating her work in the growing field of empire and militarism, Schober provides a concise geopolitical history of Korea, exploring how foreign conquest has shaped South Korea’s relationship with the US, which was initially strongly pro-American. However, gradual democratization combined with a number of tragic encounters between civilians and US soldiers—especially the 1992 brutal rape and murder of a sex worker—have contributed to increasing resentment of the US presence. Schober explores how nationalist-leftist movements appropriated such 'violent imaginaries' to amplify the already existing anxiety over US soldiers in the suburban camp towns outside military bases and in the inner-city entertainment districts of Seoul. She focuses on two distinctively different inner-city entertainment districts frequented by US soldiers, demonstrating how these urban environments become incubators for social change as they attract a variety of ethnic and sexual minorities and rebellious youth groups who navigate complex cultural and social exchanges. An excellent contribution to social anthropology and military sociology collections. Highly recommended."

Catherine Lutz, Brown University
“With lucid analytic prose and vivid storytelling, Elisabeth Schober shows us that the relationship between the US military and the people of South Korea is much more complex than many previous accounts let on.”
Thomas Hylland Eriksen, University of Oslo
“A very powerful book which deserves a broad readership. Eloquently written, ethnographically rich and theoretically sophisticated.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here