Queer migration, dislocation, and desire of recognition: the cases of South Korean queer women

Authors: MinJi Gwon*, Seoul National University
Topics: Migration, Sexuality, Gender
Keywords: Queer, Asian, Intersectionality, Feminist Geography,Sexuality, Migration, Identity, Recognition
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Rampart, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Discussions of migration in the Asian context have put emphasis on the economic dimensions, presuming the migrants to be cisgender heterosexuals. However, recent emotional and narrative turn in migration scholarship has urged for empirical studies of queer migrant subjectivities. Prior research has shown that queering migration enables taking into account the emotions deeply involved with embodied sexuality. This paper thus focuses on embodied emotions through queer migration trajectory by analyzing the in-depth interview of 18 Korean queer women who have experienced international migration. It has been found that sexuality and emotions, particularly the desire of recognition of their identities underpins the narratives of respondents. Because of their gender and sexuality, they experience dislocation in their mother country, South Korea, where patriarchal system and heteronormativity is dominant. Seeking for the recognition, they chose international migration as a breakthrough, to relocate themselves in new social relations. Although these people encounter different challenges in the destination country as other identities intersect, they sought for strategies of their own to cope with the difficulties.

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