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Borderland Dreams: The Transnational Lives of Korean Chinese Workers

In Borderland Dreams June Hee Kwon explores the trajectory of the “Korean dream” that has fueled the massive migration of Korean Chinese workers from the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in northeast China to South Korea since the early 1990s. Charting the interplay of bodies, money, and time, the ethnography reveals how these migrant workers, in the course of pursuing their borderland dreams, are transformed into a transnational ethnicized class. Kwon analyzes the persistent desire of Korean Chinese to “leave to live better” at the intersection between the neoliberalizing regimes of post-socialist China and post–Cold War South Korea. Scrutinizing the tensions and affinities among the Korean Chinese, North and South Koreans, and Han Chinese whose lives intertwine in the borderland, Kwon captures the diverse and multifaceted aspirations of Korean Chinese workers caught between the ascendant Chinese dream and the waning Korean dream.

Source: publisher’s website

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