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Contested EmbraceTransborder Membership Politics in Twentieth-Century Korea$
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Jaeeun Kim

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804797627

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804797627.001.0001

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Reluctant Embrace and Struggles for Inclusion

Reluctant Embrace and Struggles for Inclusion

Korean Chinese “Return” Migration to Post–Cold War South Korea

(p.172) Four Reluctant Embrace and Struggles for Inclusion
Contested Embrace

Jaeeun Kim

Stanford University Press

Post Cold-War transborder membership politics gained momentum from the influx of Korean Chinese into South Korea. Chapter 4 highlight the protracted confusion, uncertainty, and indeterminacy that both state and non-state actors in South Korea experienced in trying to “properly” classify the long forgotten ethnonational kin, substantiate their belated claim to membership, and regulate their access to the affluent “homeland.” It also reveals the porosity of the walls within which South Korea enclosed itself to exclude the Korean Chinese from transborder membership. On the one hand, Korean Chinese migrants struggled to redefine their collective identity in the legal, political, and public spheres by presenting themselves as an integral part of the Korean nation. But equally importantly, Korean Chinese migrants challenged the state’s monopolistic truth claim about their individual identities by engaging in micropolitical struggles in bureaucratic settings, mobilizing alternative genres of identification and creating false paper identities for themselves.

Keywords:   globalization, ethnic return migration, immigration bureaucracy, family immigration, marriage migration, illegality, documents, South Korea, China, Korean Chinese

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