Emplacing Parenting: Migration and Belonging among Korean Gireogi Families
Young A. Jung
Advisor: Debra Lattanzi Shutika, PhD, Department of English
Committee Members: David Haines, Dae Young Kim
November 14, 2014, 04:00 PM to 02:00 PM
This dissertation explores emplaced transnational families’ dynamics through an analysis of the categories of class, sense of place, sense of belonging and parenting among the so-called “Korean gireogi families”. A Korean gireogi (wild goose) family is a distinct kind of transnational migrant family that splits their household to educate the children in an English-speaking country for a temporary period. Using mixed research methods, including ethnographic field work, in-depth interviews, and textual analyses of media representations and historical documents, this dissertation examines gireogi families in a historical and a transnational context. The majority of the research focuses on mothers and children who live in McLean and Centreville of Fairfax school district located in Virginia, just a few miles from Washington, D.C. I argue that these transnational families construct distinct types of belonging, including structural belonging, relational belonging, school district belonging, and narrative belonging. Belonging is dependent on the Korean gireogi families’ ability to mobilize social and cultural capital, the development and quality of relationship in the receiving communities, and their ability to rationalize the benefits of frequent movement and temporary settlement to reach their children’s educational goals. This dissertation also theorizes the educational transnational field.