Ethnic Placemaking by Latin Americans in Seoul, South Korea
서울에 분포한 라틴 아메리카인에 의한 에스닉(ethnic) 장소만들기

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구티에레즈 로살레스
Shin HaeRan
사회과학대학 지리학과
Issue Date
서울대학교 대학원
학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 사회과학대학 지리학과, 2018. 8. Shin HaeRan.
This research analyzes the placemaking dynamics of the Latin-American

migrant community in Seoul, South Korea. Placemaking is the process of

creating quality places that people want to live, work, play and learn in. It is a

process that gives importance to the spaces within cities, as well as to human

interactions and the connections between people and place. However, not

everyone participates in placemaking in the same manner or uses the same

techniques. Previous studies on migrant communities and ethnic placemaking

have tended to focus on larger sized communities in host countries, while

ignoring the smaller ones. This can give the impression that smaller migrant

communities do not take part in placemaking activities and become invisible

throughout society. This research hopes to prove the opposite. Given that the

Latin American community in South Korea is a minority of a minority, it cannot

rely on neither the size of its community, a geographical proximity to the

migrants countries of origin, nor on historical and cultural ties between the

countries in question for them to have a profound influence within South Korean

society. Taking this background into account, this research asks the following: (1)

how do migrant communities that have little or no historical and cultural ties to ii

their host countries create a place for themselves? And (2) how does the role of

culture from a migrants home country influence the level of a migrant

communitys visibility (or lack thereof) within the host country? Being that Seoul

is the city where most foreign residents in South Korea tend to accumulate, it

serves as the case study site for this qualitative research study. Through the use of

archival analysis, direct participatory observation and in-depth interviews, this

research focuses on the placemaking dynamics within the Latin American

community in Seoul, being principally carried out via social media platforms and

religious association on the one hand, and the visibility of this community in

South Korean society through the presence of Latin American small ethnic

businesses owned by non-Latin Americans in Seoul. I argue that compared to

larger and more visible Latin American communities abroad, Latin Americans in

Seoul rely on the profitability of their home culture in order to be seen by others,

while at the same time, they build social networks with other Latinos in Seoul

instead of actual physical spaces for themselves in order to feel at home.

Keywords : Placemaking, Migrants, Latin-America, Ethnic, Seoul, South Korea
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Dept. of Geography (지리학과)Theses (Master's Degree_지리학과)
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