The Other Korea: Ideological Constructions Of North Korea In The American Imagination, 1948-2000

Brandon Kyle Gauthier, Fordham University

Abstract

This dissertation examines how portrayals of North Korea by the U.S. government and popular media diminished the possibility of diplomatic cooperation between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea) over the second half of the twentieth century. It specifically argues that policymakers and journalists, among other observers in U.S. society, primarily made sense of the DPRK’s often-brutal actions by describing it as either a puppet of the Soviet Union and China or as an irrational actor incapable of pragmatic dialogue. These reductive caricatures—a product, in part, of evolving ideologies in American society related to the Cold War, foreign policy, and race—blinded policymakers to the nationalistic motives behind North Korea’s decision-making and led the general public to misunderstand events in Korea. While analyzing how intertwined links between culture and national identity influenced American foreign policy in East Asia, this work thus highlights the fundamental misperceptions that so often shaped U.S. decision-making vis-à-vis the DPRK since the Korean War.^

Subject Area

Asian history|American history|History

Recommended Citation

Gauthier, Brandon Kyle, "The Other Korea: Ideological Constructions Of North Korea In The American Imagination, 1948-2000" (2016). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10125242.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI10125242

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