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Language socialization in the post-colonial Korean diaspora in Japan : language ideologies, identities, and language maintenance Son, Jeonghye


This ethnographic research investigates Korean language socialization within the Korean resident (Zainichi Korean) community in Japan, particularly focusing on the community connected to Chongryun (pro-North Korean organization) schools. That is, this study seeks to find (1) how Korean children in the community of Chongryun schools are socialized to learn and use Korean and (2) how they are socialized through language to culturally significant values, beliefs, and identities that affect their Korean development. To this end, I collected data through participant observation in a Chongryun middle school and school-related events, audio and video-recorded family interactions, and interviews with schoolteachers, students, and parents. The study results show that the younger generation in this community were exposed and socialized into multiple language ideologies that linked the Korean language not only to Korean identity and the space of school, but also to morality (e.g., a good student, patriot), politeness, the status of Chongryun school students, and foreignness/outcast through participating in a variety of interactional practices. Also, in this study I paid attention to the agency of Chongryun school students and found that their socialization outcomes were partial, selective, and situational. In other words, not only did they play a part in reproducing and reinforcing the existing ideologies of language and ethnic boundaries (i.e., Japanese vs. Koreans) but they also contributed to redefining the relationship between the Korean language and Korean identity and reorganizing the evaluative order of Korean varieties. Lastly, I argue that the sociocultural phenomena engendered by globalization (e.g., Korean Wave and power of English) motivated some students to further improve their Korean proficiency on the one hand, but on the other hand, they demotivated others in continuing to study and maintain their Korean abilities in the future.

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