Return to Rural: Philosophy and Practice in Korea

Event: East Asian Sociological Association Congress
Date: March 8-9, 2019 Tokyo, Japan
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New social movements are constantly emerging that aim to implement sustainable solutions: the Return to Rural movement is a typical case that operates on the underlying premise that the current development centred consumer society should recognize the urgent need for radical shift due to the scale of catastrophic environmental degradation and socio-economic conflicts. This presentation requires into the degree of accountability and responsiveness that the Return to Rural movement, ecologically sound and socially inclusive alternative, exhibits within the framework of existing society. It begins by examining Korean Dong-hak and Hansalim manifesto based on the ecological strands of Eastern philosophical discourse and follows by analysing through an investigation of the Indramang Community case in Korea that established in 1998 by motivated individuals after the economic and social crises to implement sustainable rural and agricultural lifestyle. This community endeavours to live in harmony by adopting innovative values and demonstrating how the ideals could be exemplified in practice. In conclusion, the functions of the land-based ecological community and its correspondence to, and limitations in the face of, wider social change will be explored.