Title

Ethnic relations in Northeast China : ethnic revival or de-ethnicisation of the Korean diaspora?

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

European Journal of East Asian Studies

Publication Date

1-1-2017

Volume

16

Issue

1

First Page

36

Last Page

66

Publisher

Brill Academic Publishers

Keywords

ethnic relationships, Joseonjok (Chaoxianju), managing multiculturality in China, national identity of a diaspora, regional development of northeast China

Abstract

This article discusses the dynamic changes in ethnic relations that have taken place in the Joseonjok (Chaoxianju) community comprising minority Koreans residing in and around Yanbian, an autonomous prefecture in northeastern China, and discusses the implications of those changes for the region. The main focus is on how the tension between China's fluctuating ethnicity-related politics and this diaspora group's continual struggle for a collective identity has been managed and internalised. Contrary to existing studies on the Joseonjok, the paper argues that the group has experienced de-ethnicisation, both as a top-down (government policy) and bottom-up (diaspora's reaction) process, rather than ethnic revival. The puzzling question is how and why de-ethnicisation occurs despite the commonly accepted conditions of ethnonationalism and, more recently, with trans-nationalism, heavily influenced by their Korean motherlands. Based primarily on ethnographical research and using a multiculturalism approach, this paper argues that the recent policy failure in dealing with multiculturality in China, together with the changing geopolitics of the region, has accelerated the process of de-ethnicisation. Joseonjok society's particular way of resisting political pressures and coping with ethnic tension in fact reflects a diaspora's common struggle to achieve integration with mainstream society while ensuring recognition of its own distinctive characteristics.

DOI

10.1163/15700615-01601001

Print ISSN

15680584

E-ISSN

15700615

Publisher Statement

Copyright © Copyright 2017 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Language

English

Recommended Citation

Park, J. B. (2017). Ethnic relations in Northeast China: Ethnic revival or de-ethnicisation of the Korean diaspora? European Journal of East Asian Studies, 16(1), 36-66. doi: 10.1163/15700615-01601001

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