Rearticulating Black Mixed-Race in the Era of Globalization
Since the mid-2000s, the term multiculturalism has entered the Korean lexicon as migration has become more and more prevalent due to globalization. The cornerstone of this multicultural explosion was a 2006 visit by American football star Hines Ward, born to an African-American father and a Korean mother. As a black mixed-race sports celebrity, he suddenly became an emblematic media figure in the Korean televisual landscape, signifying a broader racial reconfiguration in Korean society. This media event – what I shall call ‘the Hines Ward moment’ – created and opened the discursive space for racial politics and multicultural issues in Korean society. Hence, this article aims to look at what this discursive explosion of multiculturalism and mixed-race means in the context of globalization. Reading the Hines Ward moment as a symbolic media text, the paper examines how the media discourse on Hines Ward articulates the issues of national identity and racial politics in contemporary Korean society. For analysis, newspaper articles, television programmes and television commercials that deal with the Hines Ward case are examined. By analyzing the modes of articulation of the Hines Ward moment, this study deconstructs the image of a ‘global, multicultural Korea’ shaped by the Korean media and examines the struggle for Koreanness in the televisual area of contemporary Korean media.
Ahn, Ji-Hyun, "Rearticulating Black Mixed-Race in the Era of Globalization" (2014). SIAS Faculty Publications. 353.