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Imagined communities: Does a Korean adoptee identity exist?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Oriental Languages, Division of Korean Studies.
2003 (English)In: The meaning of roots: Ethnic identity and biological heritage, 2003, 125-130 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In 1983, the American political scientist Benedict Anderson (1983) showed us that all nations and ethnic groups are socially constructed imagined communities in his groundbreaking study on the formation of various European nation states. Before Anderson, all nations, and especially nation states, were more or less considered essentialist facts. The concept of an imagined community is nowadays applied to all the world´s different nations, from classical Western states like Denmark or France to former colonies like Indonesia or Nigeria, and from ethnic groups without a nation state like the Kurds to indigenous people like the Saami. Further on, in the age of globalisation and transnational migration, no one would deny that diasporic people like the African Americans or the European Jews also have their own imagined communities. However, one specific group is with few exceptions continuously absent in today´s ethnicity, diaspora and migration studies, namely inter-country adoptees. Instead, it is more or less assumed that inter-country adoptees, albeit having a foreign origin, are fully integrated citizens of their respective host countries with no relationship at all neither to a homeland nor between themselves. This paper will look at the adopted Koreans, by far the biggest inter-country adoptee group worldwide, in relation to Western views and research on inter-country adoption contrasted by Korean nationalism and diaspora politics. By using postcolonial theory, I will argue for the existence of an adopted Korean community that is in the process of developing in the third space between the Korean homeland and the host countries in the West, transgressing borders, cultures, religions and languages.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. 125-130 p.
Keyword [en]
adopted Koreans, diaspora
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-20908OAI: diva2:187434
Available from: 2006-04-07 Created: 2006-04-07Bibliographically approved

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