Through a critical examination of the Korean diaspora in transnational contexts as a case study, Korean Digital Diaspora: Transnational Social Movements and Diaspora Identity unmasks the process of how people of the diaspora have built social interactions and communication with others online, how they have orchestrated social movements, and finally, how they have narrated and reshaped their diaspora identities in their everyday lives. Utilizing an ethnographical approach, including in-depth interviews, participant observation, and a field study in New York City and Philadelphia, Hojeong Lee delineates how digital media technology has expanded into a new form of diaspora, digital diaspora, within the Korean diaspora community, and how it has mobilized the social movements of Korean diaspora members. Accordingly, Korean diaspora members have begun to imagine their community as a transnational global diaspora. Korean Digital Diaspora concludes with an analysis of how the changed attitudes of diaspora members have also influenced how they define themselves and how they are reshaping their diaspora identities. This multi-site, three-year study reveals the nexus of media, individuals, and society, highlighting the transnational social movements of diaspora members.
Hojeong Lee teaches media studies in the Department of Media Studies and Production at Temple University.
Chapter 1: Theories on Digital Media, Social Movements, and Digital Diaspora
Chapter 2: Immigration Histories of the Korean Diaspora
Chapter 3: Korean Ethnic Media, a Long-Time Lifeline to Connect to Homeland
Chapter 4: We Live in a New Home, but We Stay Connected to Our Homeland
Chapter 5: Case Study: Social Movements of Korean Digital Diaspora Since 2014
Chapter 6: Re-Constructing of Diaspora Identity within the Korean Diaspora
Korean Digital Diaspora: Transnational Social Movement and Digital Identity critically examines how Korean immigrants in the areas of New York City and Philadelphia have created a transnational diasporic community using digital media technology. Based on participant observations, field work and personal interviews, it examines how their community based on digital technology not only has facilitated their social communications and interactions, but also orchestrated their transnational movements regarding social and political issues in Korea and reshaped their diasporic identities. This book greatly contributes to both digital studies and immigrant transnationalism studies. I recommend it as an ideal textbook for an immigrant transnationalism course.
Hojeong Lee’s book is an insightful exploration of the roles of media in processes of agency, memory, and resistance in Korean diaspora communities. Using extensive ethnographic fieldwork and interviews, Lee examines the ways Korean communities use media and digital platforms to form diasporic communication networks, maintain connections to their homeland, and create and strengthen social movements. Lee’s book is a successful example of the media studies ideal: exploring, in Nick Couldry’s words, “how media are embedded in the interlocking fabric of social and cultural life.”