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Identity Politics of Former Soviet Koreans: One of the Most Prominent Heritages of the 1988 Seoul Olympics

Authors: Soon-ok Myong, B.G. Nurzhanov

Abstract:

This paper applies an anthropological approach to illuminate the dynamic cultural geography of Kazakhstani Korean ethnicity focusing on its turning point, the historic “Seoul Olympic Games in 1988." The Korean ethnic group was easily considered as a harmonious and homogeneous community by outsiders, but there existed deep-seated conflicts and hostilities within the ethnic group. The majority-s oppositional dichotomy of superiority and inferiority toward the minority was continuously reorganized and reinforced by difference in experience, memory and sentiment. However, such a chronic exclusive boundary was collapsed following the patriotism ignited by the Olympics held in their mother country. This paper explores the fluidity of subject by formation of the boundary in which constructed cultural differences are continuously essentialized and reproduced, and by dissolution of cultural barrier in certain contexts.

Keywords: Former Soviet Korean's Russianization, inferior/superior dichotomy, Seoul Olympic Games, subject's fluidity

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1334185

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