Historical and Contemporary Korean Emigration: a Comparative Analysis of Ten Waves of Korean Migration
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Migration trends and patterns often reflect a country’s social relations at home and abroad. At the risk of overgeneralization, ten waves of Korean emigration with historical significance have been identified and organized in chronological order from the 1860s to 2010s for comparison, including the emigrant identities, settlement regions, emigration motivations, and migration classifications. While the temporal and spatial context of migration decisions varies, each wave has demonstrated how the Korean migrants respond to the internal and international political-economic environments as a survival strategy. Korean emigrants’ social class, the choice of destinations, the length of sojourn, and the nature of migration are all further diversified from historical to contemporary emigration. Korean settlement experiences with country-specific details in regions of significant Korean emigrant dominance are further investigated. The new concept of “liquid migration,” with flexibility, fluidity and hybridity, is also increasingly evident in the shifting patterns and trends of contemporary Korean emigration.
KeywordsKorea Migration Emigration Settlement Korean diasporas
This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2016S1A5B8924268).
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