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Korean American Diaspora


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Title: Korean American Diaspora

Korean American Diaspora
  • Dr. Young Rae Oum
  • Hanyang International Summer School
  • Session 1
  • Race Relations in the US

Course Requirements
  • Attend all sessions.
  • If you must miss a class because of illness, call
    or email the instructor before the class, and
    arrange a catch-up appointment.
  • Read the assigned materials as much as you can
    before you come to each class.
  • Class participation is important and is 20 of
    the grade.

What this course is about
  • Koreans in the US
  • Identity
  • Modernity
  • Movement
  • Race
  • Power/Knowledge
  • Critique of US hegemony and imperialism

What this course is about
  • Korean-American, Korean American, Korean
    American, or American Korean?
  • The word diaspora is derived from the verb
    speiro (to sow Greek) and the preposition dia
  • Historically associated with han, a collective
    trauma, a banishment people living in exile and
    dreamed of home.

What this course is about
  • The term diaspora is currently being used
    widely to indicate transnational identity
  • More generally, diaspora refers to the
    hodgepodge of everyday out-of-country and
    out-of-language experience and its textual
    representations. It refers to the doubled
    relationship or dual loyalty that migrants,
    exiles, and refugees have to places, the space
    they currently occupies and their continuing
    involvement with back home (Lavie
    Swedenburg, p.14).

Session 1 Race Relations in the US
  • Racial Formation (in the US and in the world)
  • Why formation?
  • Social construction of race
  • Meaning?
  • Evidence?
  • One-drop rule Susie Guillory Phipps case
  • Black vs. White (and the rest?)
  • Slavery and bigotry continue to shape the present
    racial landscape.

Session 1 Race Relations in the US
What is race? A concept which signifies and
symbolizes social conflicts and interests by
referring to different types of human bodies
(phenotypes). The selection of particular
human features is a social and historical
process. This definition transcends the dualism
of Race as an essence fixed, concrete
objective vs. Race as a purely ideological
construct or an illusion.
Session 1 Race Relations in the US
Racial Formation The historical process by which
racial categories are created, inhibited,
transformed, and destroyed. A social project in
which human bodies and social structures are
represented and organized.
Session 1 Race Relations in the US
  • From Religion to Science
  • Conquering the natives was justified by
    religious ideologies.
  • Gradually, religion gave way to science.
  • During the 18C to the 19C scholars dedicated
    themselves in identifying and ranking variations
    of humankind.
  • Voltaire The negro race is a species of men as
    different from ours as the breed of spaniels is
    from that of greyhounds. If their understanding
    is not of a different from ours, it is at least
    greatly inferior

Session 1 Race Relations in the US
  • From Religion to Science
  • Jefferson In general their existence appears to
    participate more of sensation than reflection in
    memory they are equal to whites, in reason much
    inferior in imagination, they are dull,
    tasteless, and anomalous the blacks are
    .inferior to whites.

Session 1 Race Relations in the US
From Religion to Science
US Common School Textbook, Geography 1879.
Session 1 Race Relations in the US
  • From Science to Politics
  • W.E.B. DuBois The color line will be the problem
    of the 20th century.
  • Franz Boas No link between racial identification
    and cultural traits. There are no higher nor
    lower cultural traits.
  • Robert E. Park Alain Leroy Locke, also
    supported non-biological view of race.

Session 1 Race Relations in the US
  • Chronology
  • 1607-1865 Racial Dictatorship Period in the US
  • Post Civil War - 1877 Brief egalitarian
  • Following century Legally sanctioned
  • The Racial Dictatorship period
  • Defined American identity as white.
  • Organized the color line rendering it the
    fundamental division in the US. Elaborated,
    articulated, and drove the division.
  • Consolidated the oppositional racial
    consciousness and organization.

Session 1 Race Relations in the US
Toward Racial Democracy Racial hegemony is not
only political and economic, but also is
supported by a popular system of ideas and
practices-- maintained by Education/Media/Religion
/Folk wisdom etc.
Session 1 Race Relations in the US
What is Racism? Racial inequality and injustice
have deeper roots than prejudice. Prejudice
was an (almost unavoidable) outcome of patterns
of socialization bred in the bone, affecting
not just whites but minorities themselves.
Systematic exclusion, exploitation, and
disregard of racial minorities are the roots.
Institutional racism. Racial difference in
defining racism White people definedit as lack
of color blindness. Minorities defined racism as
a system of power (therefore blacks cannot be
Session 1 Race Relations in the US
Racial formation perspective allows to
differentiate race from racism. A racial project
can be defined as racist if and only if it
creates or reproduces structures of domination
based on essentialist categories of race. Racism
should be located in the fluid and contested
history of racially based social structures.
Racial awareness should be distinguished from
racial essentialism. E.g. Asians are good at
math. Vs. Black accountants organization.
Session 1 Race Relations in the US
Frantz Fanons Black Skin, White Masks Is part
manifesto, part analysis. It both presents
Fanon's personal experience as a black
intellectual in a whitened world and elaborates
the ways in which the colonizer/ colonized
relationship is normalized as psychology. Role
of Colonizers/Colonizing Language "To speak .
. . means above all to assume a culture, to
support the weight of a civilization" Speaking
French means that one accepts, or is coerced into
accepting, the collective consciousness of the
French, which identifies blackness with evil and
Session 1 Race Relations in the US
Frantz Fanons Black Skin, White Masks In an
attempt to escape the association of blackness
with evil, the black man dons a white mask, or
thinks of himself as a universal subject equally
participating in a society that advocates an
equality supposedly abstracted from personal
appearance. Cultural values are internalized,
or "epidermalized" into consciousness, creating a
fundamental disjuncture between the black man's
consciousness and his body. Under these
conditions, the black man is necessarily
alienated from himself.
Session 1 Race Relations in the US
Discussion Questions What is race? What is race
in Korean society? What is racism? What happens
when Koreans immigrate to the US, in terms of
their racial/ethnic identity? What does it mean
that race is a social construction?
Session 1 Race Relations in the US
For tomorrow Read Yen Le Espiritu (in the
reading pocket) first. Think about controlling
images of Asian women and men in the US and
compare those with your own ideas and
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