Social Hierarchy Materialized: Korean Vernacular Houses as a Medium to Transfer Confucian Ideology

Seo, Kyung Wook and Ryoo, Seong-Lyong (2020) Social Hierarchy Materialized: Korean Vernacular Houses as a Medium to Transfer Confucian Ideology. Sustainability, 12 (3). p. 902. ISSN 2071-1050

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Buildings reveal the social values of a society through their forms and configuration. During the Choseon dynasty, Confucianism was the national ideology and basis for governing principles. Consequently, houses for the ruling class were built to conform to the principle of separating domains for men, women, servants, and ancestors. This hierarchical social system persisted for hundreds of years, but from the 19th century, various social movements gradually delegitimized many inequalities between sexes and classes. Mysteriously, even after this series of radical political and social changes, vernacular houses still adhered to the same hierarchical spatial order until the mid-20th century. This paper analyzes the houses built from the 15th century to the mid-20th century to show how Confucian principles were translated into the design to control social interactions. The paper concludes with a discussion of how Confucianism has been passed on through the medium of housing until today and how they have influenced people’s perception of different gender roles in contemporary Korean society.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Confucianism; social hierarchy; Korean vernacular house; gender roles; spatial segregation
Subjects: K200 Building
K400 Planning (Urban, Rural and Regional)
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Architecture and Built Environment
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2020 14:57
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 20:03

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