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Title:(Un)making deserving citizens: Education, activism, and military service of undocumented Korean immigrant young adults
Author(s):Chung, Ga Young
Director of Research:Mayo, Cris
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Mayo, Cris; Kwon, Soo Ah
Doctoral Committee Member(s):McCarthy, Cameron; Dyson, Anne Haas
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):education, race, immigration
Abstract:(Un)Making Deserving Citizens: Education, Activism, and Military Service of Undocumented Korean Immigrant Young Adults examines how undocumented Korean immigrant young adults navigate their liminal status in the United States. Presently, there are 192,000 undocumented Korean immigrants, a group that makes up the eighth largest undocumented population in the United States. While the reality is that one out of seven immigrants with Korean heritage are undocumented, their day-to-day experiences remain largely unexamined. This stands in stark contrast to the extensive media coverage and research conducted on Latinx immigrants. Focusing on the invisibility of the undocumented Korean immigrants, my research deconstructs the ways in which the meanings and practices of “deserving citizens” have been reassembled and rearticulated through the undocumented Korean immigrant young adults’ experiences. In particular, I investigate how the notion of deservingness is imagined, challenged, and redefined through their education, activism, and military service. Through transnational approaches, I argue that the deserving citizens are shaped by kinship, ethnic community, and the state, inflected by racism, memories of the Cold War, and the militarized modernity of Korea. While analyzing the contradictions of young adults who resist or compromise the myth of the model undocumented minority and the notion of an ideal youth-citizen, I document their genuine contributions to social change, particularly through their activism, in an era of increased anti-immigrant legislation. Informed by interdisciplinary insights from education policy studies, global studies, ethnic studies, and youth studies, my work expands the field of undocumented immigrant studies.
Issue Date:2019-05-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Ga Young Chung
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-11-26
Date Deposited:2019-08

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