In this dissertation I study the social phenomenon of ki suryŏn 氣修練 (氣修練 ki-training) as an invented tradition and examine how it functions within Korean society. Mind-body practices referred to as qigong in China and ki suryŏn in Korea are re-constructed in modernity on the basis of ancient East-Asian traditions. Utilizing the practice of GiCheon developed in the 1970s as a case study, I investigate the experience of ki suryŏn, as understood and articulated by practitioners. As the basis for my research, I use a series of interviews conducted with sixty-one GiCheon practitioners between September 2010 and April 2011 in South Korea. As my theoretical framework, I apply the concept of Technologies of Self developed by Michel Foucault, as well as the Confucian formula for self-cultivation, which involves the physical and bodily, alongside the mental/emotional and familial/social: ‘authenticate the intention, rectify the mind-heart, cultivate the body, love the family, govern the country, bring peace to the world’ (誠意正心修身齊家治國平天下sŏngŭi chŏngsim susin ch’ega ch’iguk p’yŏngch’ŏnha).

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