TitleDigital diaspora on the web
NameLee, Eunkyung (author), Pavlik, John V. (chair), Bratich, Jack (internal member), Marchi, Regina (internal member), Kim, Yeon-Soo (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectCommunication, Information and Library Studies,
Korean American women--Social networks,
Online social networks--United States,
DescriptionThis study explores an online community (www.MissyUSA.com) formed among female Korean im/migrants in the U.S. as an example of a digital diasporic space in the new media age. This study employed multiple research methods including in-depth interviews, textual analysis, and grounded theory and examined the conditions and role of this online community focusing on identity, community, and media culture. The findings show that for this ethnic gender online community, users’ shared identity (i.e. being Korean, married, female, and living in the U.S.) is an important element in the formation and development of this online community, especially in the creation of a candid talking space—sokpuri—where they vent their innermost feelings about themselves and their lives in the U.S. Missy and Ajuma are the two gender identities found on MissyUSA. On the one hand, despite the consumerist origin and individualistic nature, some users embrace the missy image of a younger, independent, and modern woman. On the other hand, the spirited quality of the ajuma (less individualistic, active in sharing information and helping others) is well appreciated and identified as an empowering spirit for this online community. These women display differing attitudes and perceptions toward their ethnic identity depending on their length of residence and immigration status. MissyUSA has become a space that serves as an imagined community for users to (re)connect to their home country and that facilitate active discussion of identity negotiation leading to less essential ethnic identity perception based on transnational ties and hybrid cultural practices. This study found a weak sense of community with regard to MissyUSA, though they do recognize that the site has some communal functions, relating to access to customized information considered significant for success in their im/migrant lives: it is a network that provides resources, serves as a virtual dwelling place, and aids them with assimilation. While the Internet has become an important source for both home and host country media access, the yeone board has become a platform for a transnational culture and lifestyle. Thus, beyond their offline ethnic communities, this site enables them to create a digital diaspora for Korean female im/migrants based on active participation from a population of (Korean) “wi-tizens” (active female Internet users since the late 90s who are now married) in the U.S.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Eunkyung Lee
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.