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The Dance of IdentitiesKorean Adoptees and Their Journey toward Empowerment$
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John D. Palmer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833718

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833718.001.0001

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Engaging and Reflecting

Engaging and Reflecting

Dancing with a Racial Identity and Transracial Adoptee Identity

Chapter:
(p.71) Chapter 4 Engaging and Reflecting
Source:
The Dance of Identities
Author(s):

John D. Palmer

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824833718.003.0004

This chapter presents the stories of adoptees as they discovered their racial and/or transracial adoptee identities. After awakening to the realization that they were in the midst of two cultures (being part of and distant from White and Korean culture), several adoptees engaged in activities that they believed would make them more culturally Korean, including attending Korean churches and joining the Korean Student Association on college campuses. Others chose to explore their transracial adoptee identities by joining Korean adoptee groups, conducting birth family searches, and questioning their parents about the adoption. The adoptees talked about their explorations as attempts to fill the holes in their lives and to feel whole and complete, because their awakenings led them to see how they lost control of their racial and transracial adoptee identities.

Keywords:   Korean adoptees, racial identity, transracial identity, Korean culture

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