Date of Award

Summer 8-11-2017

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

East Asian Studies

Degree Name

Master of Liberal Arts (MLA)

Degree Type



This research examines the emergence and evolution of the concept of the “Ideal Home” in colonial Korea (1910–1945). In particular, I show that the newly appeared instruments including expositions, department stores and mass media enabled political power to disseminate the concept of the ideal home that homogenized people’s lifestyle. In the first chapter, I argue that the Home Exposition in 1915 was a political event that the state displayed a model of private spaces in public, and thereby attempting to induce people to behave productively in their home. In the second chapter, I demonstrate that department stores in the capital city reinforced the concept of the ideal home through providing both attractive spectacles and entertaining spaces that encouraged people to absorb a standardized lifestyle. In the third chapter, I shed light on print media reflecting that the concept of the ideal home was reshaped depending on political circumstance and social atmosphere. Through reexamining historical records, images and novels, I show the process that individuals became a manipulated group of citizens, and thereby ultimately arguing that the prototype of the ideal home was a political apparatus through which government and social elites extended their control of individual households in order to establish the first modern state in the Korean peninsula.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Lori Watt

Committee Members

Ji-Eun Lee, Rebecca Copeland


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