Contested Identities : Exclusionary Ethnonationalism in Korean Films

Authors: Jong-Ku Park*, Department of Geography, Kyung Hee University, Sang-Hyun Chi, Department of Geography, Kyung Hee University
Topics: Political Geography, Cultural Geography, Asia
Keywords: Ethnonationalism and Exclusion, Korean-Chinese, Media, Films, Contested Identities, Korean diaspora
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 52
Presentation File: Download



Ethnic Identities are fluid concepts and are contested in media as well as in daily lives. Especially, representations of a specific ethnic groups in the media have an influence on the perspective and attitude to the groups.

There is more than 1.8 million foreign-born population in Korea.
Among them the biggest group is Korean-Chinese who is the descendants of the Korean diaspora to China and Russia during the Japanese colonial period or before.

As the Korean-Chinese population grows and becomes more noticeable, Korean society have witnessed a heated discussion on the identity of them.
This discussion is producing discourses that often contains exclusion, hatred, and discrimination about Korean-Chinese.
And the discourses have been developed and disseminated, which has been used for the assertion that Korean-Chinese should not be treated as Korean.

This study investigates the spread of exclusionary nationalist discourse on Korean-Chinese by examining the recent films.
The films analyzed in this study were selected mainly from the films released in the 2010s.('The Yellow Sea' (2010), 'Midnight Runners' (2017), and 'The Outlaws' (2017))

The movies examined presented in this study shows that representations of a specific ethnic group(Korean-Chinese) in the media produces negative stereotypes, which have an influence on the perspective and attitude to the group.

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