Practicing Agency by Performing Vulnerability: Sexual Minorities at the Queer Culture Festival in Korea

Seoyoung Choi, Jungmin Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper attempts to theorize the resistance of Korean sexual minorities at the Queer Culture Festival. In 2008, a pioneer in Korean LGBTQ studies concluded that “[sexual minorities in Korea are] so powerless that they cannot even prove that they are powerless.” By analyzing the three phases of the Seoul Queer Parade, the major event of the Queer Culture Festival, we explicate how the LGBTQ people of Korea, who were an unintelligible force of resistance, entered hegemony and are challenging hegemony by presenting themselves as simultaneously vulnerable yet agentic sexual minorities. Objecting to the simple binary of vulnerability and resistance, Judith Butler suggests that the mobilization of vulnerability through deliberate exposure to force can be an act of resistance, in other words, an agentic act. Butlers concept allows us to identify the “extra-juridical modes of resistance” of so-called vulnerable populations who can be at once exposed and agentic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-525
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Asian Sociology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
*This work was supported by Brain Korea 21: Solution-seeking for Political Problems in the Age of Innovative Science and Technology in the Department of Political Science at Yonsei University Graduate School.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020. All Rights Reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


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