Publication Date

2003

Abstract

As the world becomes internationalized and globalized today, many societies have become more accepting of multicultural and multiracial people. In many societies, biracial heritages are considered to be assets in terms of employment, education and social acceptance. However, a Korean's Amerasian identity is considered to be a hindering factor in South Korea. Amerasian ethnicity is associated with the Korean women who worked for the U.S. soldiers and/or on the U.S. military bases in South Korea since the Korean War from 1950-1953 and continuing through the present day. This research considers the main question: What is the perception of the first-generation and new-generation Amerasians on what factors help and hinder Amerasians in their abilities to integrate into mainstream Korean society? Through in-depth interviews with 10 participants who represent Amerasians from both the first-generation and the new-generation, the research represents the voices of the experiences of both groups of Amerasians. The results indicated that both Amerasian groups in this study had similarities and differences in their perceptions of the helping and hindering factors that were examined. The Amerasians who were interviewed discussed the ways they addressed the helping and hindering factors in order to improve and eventually become more integrated into mainstream Korean society. This research has applications in the work and research of Pearl S. Buck International Korea (PSBIK) and other NGOs working with Amerasians worldwide. In addition, it is also hoped that this research will encourage mainstream Koreans to examine their discriminatory treatment of Amerasians. This research will also play a role in showing policy makers in the United States what measures need to be taken to insure that the government and its military personnel are held accountable for their actions with civilian women in the countries they occupy.

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