“The engineer is bearer of the nation’s industrialization,” says the tower pictured on the front cover. President Park Chung-hee (1917–1979) was seeking to scale up a unified national identity through industrialization, with engineers as iconic leaders. But Park encountered huge obstacles in what he called the “second economy” of mental nationalism. Technical workers had long been subordinate to classically trained scholar officials. Even as the country became an industrial powerhouse, the makers of engineers never found approaches to techno-national formation—engineering education and training—that Koreans would wholly embrace.
This book follows the fraught attempts of engineers to identify with Korea as a whole. It is for engineers, both Korean and non-Korean, who seek to become better critical analysts of their own expertise, identities, and commitments. It is for non-engineers who encounter or are affected by Korean engineers and engineering, and want to understand and engage them. It is for researchers who serve as critical participants in the making of engineers and puzzle over the contents and effects of techno-national formation.
Table of Contents: Preface and Acknowledgments / What Are Korean Engineers For / Five Koreas Without Korean Engineers: 1876-1960 / Technical Workers for Light Industry: 1961-1970 / Engineers for Heavy and Chemical Industries: 1970-1979 / Loss of Privilege and Visibility: 1980-1998 / Engineers for a Post-Catch-Up Korea? / Engineers and Korea / Index / Author Biographies