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Zainichi Beyond the Third Way: Towards a Transnational Identity

González-Lario, Alejandro (2017) Zainichi Beyond the Third Way: Towards a Transnational Identity. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Since the end of the Pacific War, the existence of the Korean minority in Japan (Zainichi Koreans) has been trapped in a monolithic dichotomy of Koreanness and Japaneseness. In this situation, Zainichi Koreans faced the dilemma of whether to become full citizens of Japanese society through naturalisation and abandon their Korean ethnicity or to maintain either of their Korean legal affiliations (colonial Korean registration, Chôsen register, or South Korean citizenship) and their status of foreign resident as a means of claiming their Koreanness. In the late 1970s, Kim Tong-Myung proposed an alternative to the monolithic dichotomy in his articulation of the ‘Third Way’, which aimed at transcending nationalist discourses by advocating a new subjectivity for the younger generations as simply Zainichi. This study questions the Third Way discourse by criticising its failure to address the actual diversity within the Zainichi community. Furthermore, through the examination of a new set of empirical data collected from qualitative research methods involving participant observation as well as semi-structured and in-depth interviews, this work presents new insights into the question of the Zainichi identity. Focusing on the impact of ethnic education in the formation of an ethnic identity in third and fourth generation Zainichi individuals, this study analyses the similarities and divergences in the identity formation process of twelve Zainichi participants from four different educational backgrounds: Chôsen schools, South Korea-oriented Kenkoku school, extracurricular Minzoku Gakkyû courses, and Japanese public schools. In addition, the analysis of participants’ interpretations and conceptualisations of their own existence with respect to Japan and the Korean Peninsula permits the elaboration of a new theory that highlights the dynamism and the fluidity of Zainichi identities, which overcome traditional, nationalist discourses and seek new ways of transnational belonging.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Zainichi Koreans, Identity, Transnationalism, Ethnicity, Nationalism, Ethnic education, Belonging
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Depositing User: González-Lario Alejandro
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2018 11:51
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2018 13:09
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/19480

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