South Korea is often called the ‘time machine’ or ‘world’s best laboratory’ to get a glimpse of how broadband services may evolve in the future. However, the Internet was not embraced actively en masse until 1998, when the nation was suffering a deepening economic crisis. In only half a decade, South Korea leapt to the most wired nation. What brought such a drastic change? This article seeks an answer by exploring the symbolic and semiotic aspects of information and communication technologies (ICTs), focusing on the implications of personal computer (PC) use. Against economic essentialism, this study examines the relationship between ICTs and discourses of ‘modernity’, ‘progress’, and ‘national identity’ in Korea in comparison with Japan.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science