Stitching the 24-Hour City: Life, Labor, and the Problem of Speed in Seoul

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Stitching the 24-Hour City: Life, Labor, and the Problem of Speed in Seoul (Cornell University Press, 2021)

Stitching the 24-Hour City reveals the intense speed of garment production and everyday life in Dongdaemun, a lively market in Seoul, South Korea. Once the site of uprisings against oppressive working conditions in the 1970s and 80s, Dongdaemun has now become iconic for its creative economy, nightlife, and fast-fashion factories, and shopping plazas. Seo Young Park follows the work of people who witnessed and experienced the rapidly changing marketplace from the inside. Through this approach, Park examines the meanings and politics of work, focusing on what it takes for people to enable speedy production and circulation and also how they incorporate the critique of speed in the ways they make sense of their own work. Stitching the 24-Hour City provides in-depth ethnographic accounts of the garment designers, workers, and traders who sustain the extraordinary speed of fast fashion production and circulation, as well as the labor activists who challenge it. Attending to their narratives and practices of work, Park illuminates how speed is, rather than a singular drive of acceleration, an entanglement of uneven paces and cycles of life, labor, the market, and the city itself.

Learn more about the book at:

Seo Young Park is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Scripps College and works on the ethnographic approaches to urban environment, labor, and gender in South Korea. Her writings appeared in Journal of Korean Studies and edited volumes. She is currently working on the public anxiety on air quality issues, and gendered platform labor in Korea.


Seo Young Park
Associate Professor of Anthropology, Scripps College

Laam Hae
Associate Professor of Politics, York University

Jesook Song
Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto

Main Sponsor

Asian Institute


Centre for the Study of Korea


Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto

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