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Korean Kirogi Families: Placemaking, Belonging, and Mothering

Based on multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork at Fairfax County, Virginia, and Daechi-dong, Seoul, Korea, Korean Kirogi Families explores the dynamics of emplaced transnational families through analyses of the categories of social capital, sense of place, sense of belonging, and mothering among so-called “Korean kirogi families.” A Korean kirogi (wild goose) family is a distinct kind of transnational migrant family that splits their household to educate the children in an English-speaking country temporarily. Using mixed research methods, including ethnographic fieldwork, in-depth interviews, and textual analyses of media representations and historical documents, this book examines kirogi families in a historical and transnational context. Much of the research focuses on mothers and children who live in McLean and Centreville of Fairfax School District, located in Virginia, just a few miles from Washington, DC. Young A. Jung argues that these educational transnational families construct distinct types of sense of belonging, including structural belonging, relational belonging, school district belonging, and narrative belonging. In the global migration era, when transnational migration continuously reshapes our communities, Korean Kirogi Families reveals how recent education migrants are changing the suburban landscape of America.

Young A. Jung is assistant professor of Korean at the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at George Mason University.

Source: publisher’s website

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