Chaebol 101: An Introduction to South Korea’s Corporate Oligarchy (The Korea File)


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University of Michigan PhD Candidate Michael Prentice interned for a year at a Seoul-area corporation, conducting semi-covert academic research on the unique corporate culture of South Korea. 

Here, he discusses the semantics, politics and evolution of the word ‘Chaebol’, the origins of post-Korean War corporate and economic development in the country as well as society’s fascination and obsession with the behaviour and excesses of its ruling oligarchy. 

This is the first of a 3-part conversation.

Music on this episode is from김연숙 ‘s 1987 single ‘그날’.

Photo: New Samsung HQ in San Jose, CA

    The Korea File