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Imagining 'home': Korean migrant women's identities in the UK.

Kim, Young Jeong (2008) Imagining 'home': Korean migrant women's identities in the UK. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis examines how individual women's desires and social situations can trigger migration as well as the complex and multifaceted effects of geographical mobility on women's lives and the formation of their identities. As a growing number of people move across national boundaries and the range of contemporary migration channels have opened to new breadths, an understanding of current migration practice needs to consider one's specific status within a wide range of types. Through the case of Korean migrant women in the UK, this research challenges the simple assumption of migrants as people who move for only economic purposes as well as the victimisation and homogenisation of Asian migrant women. Based on in-depth individual interviews and a targeted ethnography of Korean communities in the UK, this study explores the experiences of Korean migrant women. The research uses the conceptual framework of "home" and is grounded on the belief that "home" is paradoxically matched with movement rather than a fixed and stable place. The findings suggest that these women's home-making is related to various power relations such as gender relations in contemporary Korea, public attitudes to immigrants and ethnic minorities in the UK, and Korean settlement patterns in the UK. This thesis reveals that the idea of the cosmopolitan/global citizen is promoted to women as a desirable lifestyle and can motivate their migration. Yet these women face certain disjunctions-between the fantasy and the reality of living in the UK; their own self-images and others' stereotypes of them; traditional assumptions about immigrants and their actual lives. Through managing these disjunctions and reshaping their relationships with their families, localities and nation, these women's migration often challenges the traditional binary gender division of masculine- public-outside-work vs. feminine-private-inside-home.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Sociology
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3037

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