This panel will provide a forum for presentation and discussion of issues related to transnational history and multicultural identities of (ethnic) Koreans whose transnational strategies of identity and citizenship crisscross post colonialism, cold war politics, post-socialism and globalization.
As we gather to discuss the Future with/of anthropologies, this panel will to bring together various sub-disciplines of anthropology to illuminate Korean identity and citizenship which is critical in shaping the future of (South) Korean society and culture. Often times, Korean identity is confrontational when it concerns inter-Korean relations (the North and South) and, other times, it is overwhelming due to its tendency to homogenize the Korean nation while attempting to stratify the migrants into a racial and national gradation. There are now more than 1.5 million foreigners living in South Korea (almost 3% of the total population). In response, the South Korean government and the academia rushed to construct discourses on the Korean version of multiculturalism. Consequently, only a small percentage of multicultural population, namely international marriage migrant women and their children, is defined as multicultural families. However, the Korean version of multiculturalism ignores the fact that the majority of the foreign population is migrants of Korean ethnicity like Korean Chinese, North Koreans, and Sakhalin ethnic Koreans. How do we define their identities and citizenship? This will be the challenge fitted for anthropologies. What is clear for far is that nation-state borders cannot bound their transnational life-stories of departure, separation, displacement, relocation, and 'return' interweaved with transnational strategies of identity and citizenship. This panel will provide a forum for presentation and discussion of various issues related to transnational history and multicultural identities of Koreans that crisscross post colonialism, cold war politics, post-socialism and globalization.