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“Who will love you if they have to look after you?”: Sakhalin Koreans Caring from a Distance

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Abstract

This chapter explores the tensions and contradictions entailed by support practices, and how people attempt to negotiate and resolve them without damaging the relationships that connect them. In my ethnography I present the case of elderly Sakhalin Koreans who, after 60 years or so of living on the Sakhalin Island in Russia, chose to participate in the repatriation program funded and organized by Korea and Japan, and settle in a dedicated retirement village in South Korea.1 The repatriation program included only the first generation of Sakhalin Koreans, which effectively meant that children and grandchildren were left behind in Russia. The decision of the elderly Koreans to move away from the younger generations went against the stereotype of filial piety and against the logic of intergenerational support associated with East Asia in general and South Korea in particular. However, it made a lot of sense to my elderly informants, particularly in the context of care and exchange of support. This chapter is an attempt to explain why this was so. But before I proceed further with this argument, let me present the community of the repatriates.

Keywords

  • Nursing Home
  • Immigrant Woman
  • Filial Piety
  • Compassion Fatigue
  • Practical Support

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© 2013 Markus Schlecker and Friederike Fleischer

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Szawarska, D. (2013). “Who will love you if they have to look after you?”: Sakhalin Koreans Caring from a Distance. In: Schlecker, M., Fleischer, F. (eds) Ethnographies of Social Support. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137330970_3

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