660.2 Intercountry adopted children from Korea: Their status as modern diasporas and their new identity as the facilitators in the globalized societies

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 11:03 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Mari SHIBA , Sociology, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Nagoya, Japan
Many studies have discussed Korean Diasporas who can be regarded as pre-modern diasporas, but very few of these studies focus on the intercountry adopted children who can be regarded as modern diasporas. These two kinds of Korean diasporas keep relationships with their homeland, Korea, in different manners. Pre-modern diasporas are treated as second class citizens in their residential countries whereas the intercountry adopted children, as a type of modern diasporas, are treated as first class citizens in their residential countries while keeping in touch with Korea by being the facilitators between the countries.

The burden of this presentation is to show a new form of identity emerging from the modern Korean diasporas. In particular, first I would like to find out, through interviews with the Korean adoptees in Sweden as well as the adoption organizations, how they see their relationship with their homeland Korea and Sweden. The result showed that, while the old generation of them regarded themselves as Swedes, more and more young generations are involved in the activities to build their identity as Korean. This is because Korea, which is emerging as a technologically, politically and economically powerful country in the global society, has been supporting those adoptees to maintain a relationship with their homeland.  Because of the internationalization goal, Korea seeks to expand its influence in the global market as well as to enrich its own society. They need facilitators who have the international background and culture to fulfill the goal. Through the emerging trend, the adoptees have been involved as the facilitators not only between Korea and the residential country, but even beyond. These situations have led the adoptees to discuss how they could build “Global Korean Adoptees’ Identity,” which differs from the identity as merely Korean or Swedes.