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Moving beyond two homes : counter-stories of Canadian youth of Korean and Japanese descent surrounding identity and sense of belonging Yoo, Jiin


This study explores the identity and sense of belonging of Korean and Japanese immigrant youth in Canada across culture, nation, and race. The first research question examines how they construct and negotiate a cultural identity and sense of belonging that shift between Canada and their homeland, in which transnationalism and multiculturalism are explored as critical mediators. The second research question concerns how they perceive their racial identity in a time of spiking racism against the Asian community triggered by COVID-19 and how it affects their identity and sense of belonging. The study illuminates the complex nature of the cultural and racial identity of Asian youth by exploring two ethnic groups who share a racial identity yet are from nations with distinct cultures, histories, and a relationship of conflict. Critical race theory is adopted as the central theoretical framework, offering a valuable lens to center persisting issues of race and racism in educational settings in Canada and to challenge master narratives of essentialist perspectives against Asian youth that dismiss diversity and individuality. Based on a counter-storytelling method informed by critical race theory, qualitative interviews and focus groups are employed as research methods. Six Korean and six Japanese youths living in Metro Vancouver participated in the study to share their voices and lived experiences. The findings are based on the participants’ counter-stories, which reveal how they construct and negotiate their cultural identities with agency and how their perceptions of Asianness shaped in the midst of complex relations in their lived experiences as individuals as well as members of collective communities.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International