Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Ilhyung Lee

First Page



Professor Lee's Article uses a comparison between the evolving role of social status in Korean society and that of race in the United States to explore Korean society and its legal system. Tracing the historical origins of status consciousness from the Confucianism of the Chosun dynasty to its vestiges in contemporary Korean society, Professor Lee notes several important parallels between social status in Korea and race in the United States. Emphasizing that there remain significant differences between the ways each functions in relation to law, Professor Lee argues that considering the two in equivalence is nonetheless analytically useful in both framing questions and proposing solutions. Finally, he points out the advantages to be gained from applying U.S. critical race theory methodology in a Korean social status context.