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National belonging and citizenship in an era of globalization and transnational migration: Korean migrant youth in the United States

Hakyoon Lee ORCID logo EMAIL logo and Sohyun An

Abstract

In an era of transnational migration, growing numbers of students who migrate and live transnationally are entering US schools. However, there has been little research exploring the transnationalism of diverse groups of migrant students and their construction of belonging, citizenship, and identity. To address this gap, this article examines Korean migrant youth’s transnationalism and their sensemaking of national, cultural, linguistic belonging. In addition, the investigation encompasses the intragroup diversities among the Korean migrant students and the ways that their distinctive immigrant histories, educational trajectories, and language use impact their construction of identities. The findings indicate diverse conceptualizations of national belonging and citizenship held by contemporary migrant youth, varied levels of transnationalism, and a scarcity of teaching and learning about the changing nature of citizenship in school. This study suggests that migrant youth can be a great resource for learning about globalization and its impact on people’s lives and identities.


Corresponding author: Hakyoon Lee, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA, E-mail:

Appendix: Participants

Name Birthplace Grade Gender Migration Parent occupation
Ashely US 9th F Second-generation immigrant Korean grocery owner
Chrissie US 10th F Second-generation immigrant Scientist
Gwen US 10th F Second-generation immigrant Computer engineer
John US 11th M Second-generation immigrant Restaurant owner
Mandy US 11th F Second-generation immigrant Professor
Nathan US 12th M Second-generation immigrant Scientist
Peter US 12th M Second-generation immigrant Computer engineer
Terrie US 9th F Second-generation immigrant Pastor
Jongwon US 12th M Early study abroad Professor
Joohee US 10th F Early study abroad Professor
Minjae US 11th M Early study abroad CEO
Narae US 9th F Early study abroad Government official
Susie US 9th F Early study abroad Artist
Sijin US 12th M Early study abroad Doctor
Taeho US 10th M Early study abroad CEO
Annie US 10th F Frequently traveling ESA Government official
Ethan US 9th M Frequently traveling ESA Professor
Hanna US 11th F Frequently traveling ESA Researcher
Heather US 10th F Frequently traveling ESA Professor
Simon US 12th M Frequently traveling ESA Professor

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Received: 2020-09-21
Accepted: 2021-09-23
Published Online: 2022-05-11

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