Title

Global Migration and the Racial Project in Transition: Institutionalizing Racial Difference Through the Discourse of Multiculturalism in South Korea

Publication Date

3-1-2013

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Global migration has transformed what used to be racially homogenous countries like South Korea. To regulate the increasing number of foreign populations, the Korean government started to use the term multiculturalism and has actively produced supportive plans for female marriage migrants and multicultural families from the mid-2000s. Through examining governmental policy documents as well as public discourses around multiculturalism, this article aims to spell out how the discourse of multiculturalism contributes to the racialization process in South Korea. It demonstrates that there has been a discursive shift from migrant workers to the multicultural family as the targeted subjects of the government's multicultural policy. In turn, this discursive transformation signals a broader shift in the immigration policy's framework: from the perspective of labor to that of family. The paper argues that, through this dynamic process, the current state-led multicultural policy brings about institutional discrimination against migrant workers; conversely, it is much more inclusive toward female marriage migrants and multicultural families.

Publication Title

Journal Of Multicultural Discourses

Volume

8

Issue

1

First Page

29

Last Page

47

DOI

10.1080/17447143.2012.753894

Version

pre-print; post-print with 18-month embargo

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