The national identity of a diaspora : a comparative study of the Korean identity in China, Japan and Uzbekistan
This research concerns the collective identity of Korean diasporas who have settled in China, Japan, and post-Soviet central Asia, with special attention to Uzbekistan. The main research considers how the Korean diasporas define their collective identities in their respective host states, and the political implications of the constitution of such identities. The means by which a collective identity is secured vary, depending on a diaspora's relations and interactions with its homeland and host state, and vision of its own community. Despite sharing many features common to not being assimilated by host societies, the three Korean diasporas have maintained their distinctive identities in each case under this study. A diaspora's identity is thus to be understood as having a particular nature, which I see as a third type of national identity. I argue that the features of diasporas are generated by the following three factors: the homeland, the hostland, and the diaspora organisations. A diaspora identity is reflected in the intrinsic quandaries it experiences within this triangular structure. These quandaries are created by fundamental tensions; such as the dilemma between seeking a fuller degree of inclusion and maintaining autonomy, the psychological conflicts between the awareness of the need for collective resistance against assimilation and the aspiration for overcoming sub-national collectivity, and the difficulties that arise from the process of accepting a different national identity while not detached from their ancestral motherland. The Korean diasporas are nearing the point of creating self-determined communities with stable dual-national identities. The formation of such an identity has prerequisites; such as the knowledge and understanding of the two national cultures involved, clear and sufficient communication, the preservation of the diaspora's own history, and the sustaining of various forms of collective existence, all of which will legitimise a diaspora's aspiration for recognition.