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Silent counteractions of community organizations in a welfare partnership...

Silent counteractions of community organizations in a welfare partnership: a case study of South Korean workfare agencies


Suyoung Kim


This article investigates how South Korean community organizations, engaged in a workfare partnership as local agencies, have continued to produce counteractions against the neoliberal workfare policy. Critical studies have argued that collaboration with the state can silence the voices of community organizations that dissent against state policies. However, this study delineates how South Korean community organizations, despite their cooperation with the government, have re- invented counteractions against the work-first policy by creating alternative discourses of ‘self-sufficiency’ and holding mass humanities courses for recipients. Through the case study, this article argues that community organizations in partnership are not only places where dominant policies are imposed and exercised, but also spaces where a range of counter-discourses and practices can emerge.


Oxford University Press and Community Development Journal. 2016

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