Using interviews and participant-observation sessions (such as joining in a family dinner and other activities), I will to travel to Seoul, South Korea and study the lives of young adults of “mixed” parentage. When I carry out this research, I will concentrate on changes in naming practices, public and institutional representations of diversity, the “Korean dream” of upward social mobility for immigrants in Korea, and the level of flexibility in the notion of an ethnically homogeneous Korea and the history behind such a notion.
Through my honors thesis, I hope to examine the question of how a nation is constructed as ethnically homogeneous, the challenges and opportunities this creates for people marked as outsiders, and by what processes outsiders become culturally assimilated (or not) into a society. My project will investigate how a new multicultural community is emerging within an established, dominant community, and the ethnic identity politics that rise alongside this shift. My research would be especially impactful as one of the few ethnographies that aims to understand the lives of young adults from multicultural families in South Korea.
Hometown: Williamsburg, Virginia
Majors: Anthropology and English
Future Plans: I plan to go to graduate school and continue studying Korean and Anthropology.
Hobbies: Reading, camping, cooking, knitting, hanging out with friends
Fun Fact: I’m the middle child of five, and I was a vegetarian for seven years.
Follow Danielle’s research on the W&M Honors Fellowships blog!