Community currency schemes were first introduced in Korea in 1998. Since then, there have been many efforts to use them but no report or academic research on the topic in Korea. Thus, we conducted a field investigation to identify the scope of community currency schemes in Korea and as of 2012 we found 43 groups which use them. The design elements were also investigated but most groups were in an under-developed state, therefore design elements were unidentifiable. Furthermore, we investigate how the community currency coordinators in Korea envision the system using Q-methodology, a method to find the subjective views on the topic. The result shows that the perception on community currency can be divided into four types: ‘Neighborhood as a community’ in which coordinators agree with mainstream economic values and view community currencies as a tool to revitalize the community and to empower local residents; ‘Alternative community’ in which coordinators view currencies as the means to resist the dominant neoliberal ideology; ‘Community through eco-friendly affinity groups’, in which the scheme is a tool to promote an ecologically-friendly lifestyle, and ‘Ecological community’, which represents coordinators who believe that it is an alternative to capitalism and a way to maintain an ecological community.
Joonmo Kang and Baeg Eui Hong
To cite this article: Kang, J. and Hong, B. (2015) ‘Community Currency in Korea: How do we envision community currency?’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 19 (Summer) 72-80 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2015.008