Continuity and Change in the Ruling Elite Group during the Transition of Dynasties in Pre-Modern Korea: An Empirical Evidence from Royal Marriage Networks

Hyunju Lee, Ajou University
Seongmin Mun, Ajou University
SANGKUK LEE, Ajou University

This paper examines the continuity and change in the ruling elite group during the transition from Goryeo (918-1392) to Joseon (1392-1910) dynasties in pre-modern Korea. Especially, using refined marriage network data between the royal families and the elite group, we analyze the period from King Chungryeol of Goryeo (r.y. 1274-1308) to King Seongjong of Joseon (r.y. 1469-1494), a time of political turmoil and the transition of the dynasty. We employ three network analysis algorithms - degree centrality, closeness centrality, and betweenness centrality - with the networkx (Barnowski, 2022) package to analyze the marriage network between the royal families and the elite group. We also create a visualization system to simulate changes and continuity in the elite power group over time. Our study reveals that the survival strategy of the elite group through marriage was successful, enabling the majority of the ruling elite to maintain their power as the ruling class even in the new dynasty, Joseon. This paper provides valuable insight into how the ruling elite coped with the political changes during the transition of dynasties in pre-modern Korea.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 233. The Historical Life Course Trends of the Pre-Modern Korean Elite Families in the Long Run: Lessons and Implication from Chinese and European Studies