Korean Adoptees and Transnational Adoption: Embodiment and Emotion, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Korean Adoptees and Transnational Adoption

Embodiment and Emotion, 1st Edition

By Jessica Walton


178 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780815354628
pub: 2019-03-21
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781351132312
pub: 2019-03-28
from $27.48

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This book investigates the experiences of South Koreans adopted into Western families and the complexity of what it means to "feel identity" beyond what is written in official adoption files.

Korean Adoptees and Transnational Adoption is based on ethnographic fieldwork in South Korea and interviews with adult Korean adoptees from the United States, Australia, Canada, Switzerland and Sweden. It seeks to probe beneath the surface of what is "known" and examines identity as an embodied process of making that which is "unknown" into something that can be meaningfully grasped and felt. Furthermore, drawing on the author’s own experiences as a transnational, transracial Korean adoptee, this book analyses the racial and cultural negotiations of "whiteness" and "Korean-ness" in the lives of adoptees and the blurriness which results in-between.

Highlighting the role of memory and the body in the formation of identities, this book will be useful to students and scholars of Korean Studies, Ethnicity Studies and Anthropology as well as Asian culture and society more generally.

Table of Contents


1. Emotional labour and transnational adoption

2. Becoming an adoptee

3. “I don’t see Korean”: Feeling ‘white’

4. Feeling a ‘Korean’ identity

5. Embodied memory, temporality and adoptee connections

Conclusion: Beyond binaries: Embodiment, adoption and emotional labour

About the Author

Jessica Walton is a Senior Research Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University, Australia. Her research is on the anthropology and sociology of education, race and ethnic relations, adoption and migration.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Korean Studies

Korea is currently experiencing its most significant transformations since the end of the Korean war. This series is a showcase for the latest research on North and South Korea. The series is interdisciplinary in its focus.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Adoption & Fostering
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / Asian American Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies