Bulletin of Institute for Education and Student Services, Okayama University


Published by Institute for Education and Student Services, Okayama University

ISSN 2432-9665

ZAINICHI KOREANS’ ETHNIC IDENTITIES AND ROLES OF ETHNIC ORGANISATION AND COMMUNITY

WICKSTRUM, Yuuka
Abstract
This paper discusses how Zainichi Koreans developed their identities both within and outside the realm of the ethnic community and ethnic organisations. This study uses qualitative multimethods research based on interviews with members and non-members of Zainichi Koirean organisations and field observations. The examination on Zainichi Koirean organisation members mainly concentrates on lived experiences of members from one of the ethnic organisations of Zainichi Koreans, Chongryun. This study finds that although some young Koreans separate themselves from the organisation and the homeland, they remain in the community. Many Chongryun Koreans share a collective ethnic consciousness, which was based on members’ love for the Chongryun schools. While there is an internal division within the community in terms of political views, many members still have a strong sense of group solidarity. On the other hand, the identities of non-member respondents are remarkably diverse. While some of them are assimilated into Japanese society, others retain strong ethnic identities. Their identities are less affected by any ethnic organisations and they rarely share collective memories with other Zainichi Koreans. This study shows that social networks and experiences of ethnic community individuals have a key role in determining their identities and the ways in which they live their lives.
Keywords
Zainichi Koreans
ethnic associations
ethnic community
collective identity
ISSN
2432-9665
NAID