Vietnam’s new manufacturing status is driven in part by South Korean investments. This paper examines two groups of expatriate Koreans in Hanoi—skilled/managerial workers and the Korean small-business workers. The high concentration of expatriate workers in Hanoi has given rise to the Korean ethnic enclave of My Dinh, many of whose establishments are owned, managed, and serviced by Koreans. The easy availability of services offered by these businesses enables a culture-based support of Korean expatriates in a new city, and the reproduction of Korean life through consumption. Our paper contributes to the literature on the ethnic economy by identifying the nature of customer support for Korean ethnic enterprises. By highlighting the Koreanowned-and-managed small business character of the urban ethnic economy, we demonstrate the importance of consumption in allowing Korean ways of life to be maintained in a new city. We extend our analysis to Vietnamese consumers of Korean businesses and argue tat such enterprises create new opportunities for the growing Vietnamese middle class to develop new consumption practices in a growing cosmopolitan city.
South Korean migration to Malaysia is a relatively new phenomenon that began in the new millennium. By 2019, approximately 20,861 Koreans were residing in Malaysia under various types of visas: work, study, and under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program. This paper examines Korean attitudes and adjustment to Malaysian temporality (after accounting for their reasons for emigration) to make causal connections between developmentalist modernity, hypercelerity (extreme speed) and the lack of happiness that drive them to search for better opportunities in the Global South. Coming from a culture of hypercelerity and expected efficiency and immediacy, Koreans have to acclimatize to a culture of slowness. Drawing from a broad span of respondents interviewed between late 2014 to 2021, that includes university students, education migrants (parents), working expatriates, retirees and those on business visas from ages 16 up to their 60s, I argue that Koreans are filled with ambivalence regarding slow time. Such ambivalence is shaped by factors such as age, occupation, circumstance and context, their life course, and extent of openness to cultural difference (cosmopolitanism). This essay focuses on the challenges Koreans face and the strategies they deploy while negotiating the slower temporality of living in the Global South.
Ethnic economies change over time. Generally, it is believed that in the beginning, because immigrants do not possess sufficient class resources, immigrants utilize ethnic resources more, and later—once class resources are formed—they tend to utilize more class resources. In generational terms, because the younger generation face lower linguistic and cultural barriers they might arguably leave ethnic economies behind and enter the mainstream economy. However, the ethnic economy in São Paulo displays a different picture. Second-generation Koreans are still involved in the ethnic economy and the resource utilization pattern is not a simple linear progression from ethnic to class. Based on these observations, this research aims to analyze how the Korean ethnic economy in São Paulo has changed over time in terms of resource utilization patterns and attempts to interpret the change within the context of Brazil as a Global South country. The fieldwork revealed that unlike other cases of ethnic economies, ethnic resources are reutilized in a different form and the issues of informality and trade protectionism that are prevalent in the Global South are related to the change in the Korean ethnic economy.
Since the start of Korean migration to Argentina in the 1960s, ethnic Koreans in Argentina have been intensively involved in the garment industry. Compared to previous decades, when Korean entrepreneurs made rapid and notable progress in the industry, in recent decades Koreans have remained in the semiformal Avellaneda Avenue wholesale market instead of moving up to the larger, more competitive formal market segment. Based on ethnographic research conducted in Argentina, this research aims to explore why large-scale Korean wholesale garment businesses that have the capacity to expand into the formal market prefer to remain in the semiformal market, and how informal business practices have influenced these businesses’ long-term development. While these informal practices have been shaped within an environment of loose government control and rampant corruption in the sector, the decision to maintain semiformal operations is a contextual response to the complex social, economic, and political circumstances of a developing country in the Global South. The research findings further suggest that informal business practices seem likely to be the critical factor in the development of Korean garment businesses, even as these practices block entry into the larger mainstream market and constrain their future growth.
The history of Korean im/migrants on the African continent is relatively recent and on a smaller scale compared to Korean diasporas elsewhere. Migration from South Korea to South Africa does not fit the stereotypical migration pattern from a country in the Global South with a lower income to a higher income country in the North. Hence, it is difficult to explain by either conventional migration theory focusing on income discrepancies, or the neoclassical and functionalist push-and-pull model. Drawing on in-depth interviews, this study aims to map out the spatial trajectories of migration taken by Korean im/migrants to, from, and within South Africa. Central to this work are the multi-directional and onward geographic migratory trajectories. Complex issues and motivations that have informed these embodied movements and migration trajectories are explored. In tracing the migration trajectories of Korean im/migrants to, from and/or within South Africa, this study examines the economic and socio-cultural dynamics of migratory trajectories and migrants’ changing subjectivities. This facilitates analysis of the way in which lifetime migration trajectories are enmeshed within the socioeconomic and cultural circumstances of both origin and destination countries.
Generally, when it comes to Confucian meditation, people think of NeoConfucian quiet-sitting (jingzhuo 靜坐) or reverent attentiveness (jing 敬). Reverent attentiveness aims to cultivate one’s morality in daily life through a dynamic and harmonious interaction of quietude (jing 靜) and activity (dong 動), which is a clear Confucian characteristic. However, this paper argues that Neo-Confucian meditation could be made even more holistic through a method of meditation that incorporates insights from the Yijing 易經 (Book of Changes). That is, Yijing divination can be understood and used to practice a way of meditation through which one can encounter further aspects of the self that Neo-Confucian meditation does not typically address, for example, the subconscious. If Neo-Confucian reverent attentiveness accommodates Yijing meditation and extends itself to the depths of consciousness, Confucian meditation can become more vibrant by more fully encompassing both rationality and spirituality.
This article analyzes the specific nature of South Korea’s policy on the globalization of higher education, which structures the ambiguous status of international students in terms of access to the benefits of achieving academic skills, international experience, and careers. Until 2000, South Korea was a sending country for students in the international education market. However, the country has become an educational destination for international students due to strategic programs such as the Study in Korea project and the Global Korea Scholarship. A substantial portion of the students who come to South Korea engages in cultural migration, often influenced by South Korean pop music (K-pop). These students’ educational experiences are greatly influenced by South Korea’s international student policy and the academic environments of their universities. The South Korean government has largely achieved its goal of increasing international students, but problems involving language, employment, and culture are now emerging around global education. This article endeavors to clarify how the historical development and orientation of the South Korean government’s international student policies contribute to international students’ often contradictory educational experiences.
For three decades, advertisements for Orion Choco Pie, a chocolate-covered biscuit and marshmallow snack cake, have thematized jeong 情, becoming a benchmark for this reputedly quintessential Korean sentiment. A timenurtured affective connection that dissolves boundaries between self and other, jeong first featured in the Orion Choco Pie commercials in the late 1980s, to be repeatedly elaborated on into the 2010s. This study examines differences in portrayals of jeong in Orion Choco Pie commercials over three decades and relates shifts in those popular-cultural representations to broad changes in South Korean society. Specifically, the article contrasts the inaugural campaign of 1989–1993, which celebrated jeong as enabling wordless communication, with the 2012–2013 campaign, which called for expressing jeong in words, suggesting a reversal in cultural scripts that govern this much mystified Korean emotion. Drawing on Eva Illouz’s (2007) theorizations of “emotional capitalism,” my analysis links changes in the advertising depictions of appropriate jeong expression to the dominant notions of emotions, selves, and human relationality under neoliberal hegemony.