Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Shifting Identities: Fashion Choices as Social Capital for Korean Women in the United States
Author(s):Lemus, Sergio
Contributor(s):Grim-Feinberg, Kate; Kim, Kyung Sook
Subject(s):Race
gender
Fashion
neoliberalism
Abstract:In this short study, we looked at the relationship between clothing and identity among female Korean student’s fashion at the University of Illinois. Out initial hypothesis was that neoliberal subjects are actively using clothing as a way to reach individual self-development of both Korean and U.S. universities. The greater goal was to explore how students attributed meaning to their fashion choices within particular social and political contexts. The questions asked were explored through: individual everyday discourse and practices through individual interviews, macro-level analysis of clothing through a range of advertisements from clothing brands, and observing students on campus.
Issue Date:2008
Course / Semester:Anth 499, East Asian Youth and Global Futures, Prof. Nancy Abelmann and Prof. Karen Kelsky: East Asian youth have experienced perhaps the world’s most compressed development as well as the world’s most aggressive globalization policies. This course examines how youth in East Asia (China/s, Japan, and the Koreas) are making their way in our globalizing world, focusing in particular on the transformations in work, education, recreation, gender, and sexuality brought about by neoliberal economic restructuring in the region. Topics studied include the insecure job market for young people, consumerism, globalized pop culture phenomena such as Pokemon, the Korean wave, and Internet gaming, emergent LGBT communities, etc. Students are encouraged to focus their research projects on aspects of the U. of I. student life that reflect the experiences of East Asian youth in a global market. The U of I offers a fascinating window on East Asian youth because of the many college (and pre-college) students who make their way here – as well as the movement of “Amercian” youth to East Asia. Through participation in the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI), students will conduct local field research that reveals the global processes at issue. The course syllabus is available at: www.eui.uiuc.edu/docs/syllabi/ANTH499S08.doc
Type:Text
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/8753
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-06-11


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Diversity on Campus/Equity and Access
    This collection examines ways in which the U.S. university and the American college experience are affected by diversity, and difference. In particular, these student projects examine experiences of diversity on campus, including important contemporary social, cultural, and political debates on equity and access to university resources.
  • Student Communities and Culture
    The university offers an extraordinary opportunity to study and document student communities, life, and culture. This collection includes research on the activities, clubs, and durable social networks that comprise sometimes the greater portion of the university experience for students.

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