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Call for papers: Koret Workshop on Korea's Migrants: From Homogeneity to Diversity

The Korea Program at Stanford’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center is soliciting papers for the Koret Workshop entitled “Korea’s Migrants: From Homogeneity to Diversity” held at Stanford University on April 21, 2017.

This ninth annual conference seeks to examine major issues related to recent migrants in Korea. Korea has long promoted a sense of ethnic unity but in recent years has seen an influx of ethnic and non-ethnic Koreans, making the country more diverse. The government has promoted multiculturalism to deal with such diversity; however, migrants, either permanent or temporary, continue to face discrimination. New approaches are needed to create better social cohesion.

We are looking for empirical papers that address the following questions for one of the following groups of migrants: North Korean refugees, Chosonjok, foreign brides, migrant labor (skilled or unskilled), and Korean returnees.

  • What are the real and perceived contributions of this group to Korean society?
  • What are the remaining challenges and concerns associated with this group as a migrant living in Korea? Have these challenges worsened or improved over time?
  • How have Korean perceptions of your migrant group changed over time, if at all? Why or why not?
  • Do you think this particular group has been more or less discriminated against compared to other migrant groups? Is there any change over time?
  • Based on your study, do you think that boundaries between various migrant groups are blurring, remaining distinct, or becoming more salient?
  • Based on your study, what is the most important barrier to social integration in Korean society? Is it ethnicity, citizenship, class, or something else?
  • Has multiculturalism as a policy and social discourse adequately addressed the concerns of your migrant group?  If not, then do we need a new framework? What would you suggest?
  • Do you think the influx of your migrant group can lessen the looming demographic crisis that will reduce the working-age population?
  • In recent years, there has been growing anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States and Europe. Do you think this will be an issue in Korea as well?
  • Based on your study of your migrant group, do you think Korea is ready for large-scale mass migration? Why or why not? If not, what would be an alternative to migration?

Submission for the conference
Upload papers in PDF (6,000-8,000 words) here. Inquiries can be made to Dr. Yong Suk Lee at yongslee@stanford.eduThe submission deadline is Dec. 31, 2016.

The authors of the accepted papers will be invited to and asked to present their studies at the conference. After the workshop, selected papers will be published as a special issue at a top Asian studies journal and/or as an edited volume. Travel (domestic or international economy class) and accommodation costs for the presenters will be reimbursed.

About the Koret Workshop
The Koret Workshop is organized by the Korea Program to bring together an international panel of experts in Korean affairs. The Korea Program established the Koret Fellowship in 2008 with generous funding from the Koret Foundation.