Understanding Activism: The Cultural Meaning of the Candlelight Vigil

활동공중 이해를 위한 촛불집회의 문화적 의미 고찰

  • 김자림 (국민대학교 언론정보학부)
  • Received : 2019.01.23
  • Accepted : 2019.03.09
  • Published : 2019.04.28


The candlelight vigil is a nonviolent collective action by Koreans to communicate with the government. Although they have political goals, candlelight vigils are represented as cultural events. However, despite its importance in Korean society, it is unclear how Koreans perceive the cultural meaning of the candlelight vigil. This study, therefore, investigates the cultural meaning of the candlelight vigil, ultimately aiming to extending the framework for understanding active publics. To this end, this study conducted 47 in-depth interviews with participants of 2008 and 2016 candlelight vigils. The findings showed that the candlelight vigil has cultural meanings of festivity, humor, and self-expression. Theoretical implications of the findings and future research directions are discussed.


Candlelight Vigil;Cultural Meaning;Festivity;Humor;Expression;Carnivalesque;Qualitative Research


Supported by : 한국PR학회


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