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PhD Defence

The People in Between: Education, Desire, and South Koreans in Contemporary China

Date
26 September 2018
Time
Address
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden

This dissertation is an ethnographic research of three groups of people from South Korea to China -- parents, students and educational agents -- focusing on their ‘greed’, expectation, anxiety, and dread regarding education. Examining this sheds light on the subjectivities of the people who are confronted with their structural positioning as being sojourners from South Korea and foreigners in China.

The individual desire on education is induced by and reflects China’s national ambition in pursuit of educational internationalisation and Korea’s compulsion to incorporate overseas nationals into its rhetoric of globalisation. Both nation-states confer political privileges on the children of overseas Korean nationals in their educational trajectories. As a result, individuals are empowered to creatively comply with, tactically appropriate, or, simply discard educational arrangements by the states. Paradoxically, they simultaneously encounter regulatory, socio-economic, and geographical constraints as they reside in China and make plans for further migration.

This thesis demonstrates that ethnic solidarity is restrictive in helping Koreans obtain opportunities that they expect to have. Koreans are increasingly scattered depending on their social-economic statuses and set out to merge with non-ethnics. This trait offers a significant insight into the nuanced tendency of the Chinese immigration policy.

Funding organisations

This project was generously funded by CSC (Chinese Scholarship Council), KF (Korean Foundation), MEARC (The Modern East Asia Research Centre, now Leiden Asia Centre), LUF (Leiden University Foundation).

Supervisor

  • Prof.dr. F.N. Pieke
  • Dr. K. De Ceuster

Attend

PhD defences are free; you do not have to register.

PhD dissertations

PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally after the defence through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

Press contact

Maarten Muns, Scientific Communications Adviser, Leiden University
m.a.muns@bb.leidenuniv.nl
+31 71 527 3282

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