S-Space Researcher Institutes (연구소) American Studies Institute (미국학연구소) 미국학 미국학 Volume 35 Number 1/2 (2012)
Caught in the In-Between: Negotiating Korean/American Identity in South Korea
- Kim, Brian Woohyun
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 미국학연구소
- 미국학, Vol.35 No.2, pp. 47-88
- This paper examines how second-generation Korean Americans’ perceptions of the United States and South Korea affect their identity formation. It focuses primarily on Korean Americans working at hakwons in South Korea and how their American identities are shaped outside of the United States. Many Korean Americans move to South Korea in the hope of understanding their identities and for economic purposes. Through interviews with Korean Americans living in South Korea, this paper evaluates the complex process of a “Korean American” identity shaped by Korean Americans’ formative years in the United States and their latter experiences in South Korea. In the United States, Korean Americans identify as “Korean” to acknowledge their ethnicity and to dis-identify with the white American mainstream. While living in South Korea, they describe themselves as “American” according to their nationality and perceived cultural differences with Korean nationals. As such, the process by which Korean Americans identify themselves is a result of dis-identification with the majority population or the culture of the country they reside in.
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