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The Narratives of Korean-Japanese Transnational Families: Life in the Shadow of History

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Authors
Kim, Yeun Hee
Issue Date
2021-10-31
Publisher
Institute for Japanese Studies, Seoul National University
Citation
Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol.7 No.1, pp. 23-63
Keywords
International marriageKorea-Japan relationstransnationalismcontact zonecolonialism
Abstract
This study examines how families of transnational marriages between Korea and Japan construct their family relations while negotiating and adjusting their lives between the domains of private family life and the wider social world. This is an ethnographic study that uses the conceptual frameworks of transnationalism and contact zones. Field research was conducted between April and July 2017 in Kyushu, Japan, and a total of fifteen members of transnational unions between Korea and Japan participated. These transnational Korean-Japanese couples shared their understanding and inter pretation of their social categories and positions in the society they were living in. The majority of their narratives reflected the hegemonic discourses and practices arising from the two nations’ shared history. Although these couples acknowledged that they felt that their minority status in Japanese society could not be easily changed, they imagined transnational spaces that might transcend the divisions between Korea and Japan for their children. Rather than this being an action or practice of trying to forge a sincere transnational identity, however, this conception seems to be a cognitive coping strategy for the discriminatory reality of life in Japan. In looking at the life experiences of the families of international marriage between Korea and Japan, this study sheds light on how history can affect the power relation ships between two individuals and between the individual and society, dynamics which have been overlooked in previous research.
ISSN
2384-2849
Language
English
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/175007
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Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원)Institute for Japanese Studies(일본연구소)Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies (SJJS)Seoul Journal of Japanese Studies vol.7 no.1(2021)
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