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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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Linking the Dance of Identities Theory to Life Experiences

Linking the Dance of Identities Theory to Life Experiences

(p.165) Chapter 7 Linking the Dance of Identities Theory to Life Experiences
The Dance of Identities

John D. Palmer

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter argues that transracial adoptees, parents and adoption agencies, and social justice activists and educators should become more aware of the need to engage in an identity journey. It then describes what can happen during this identity journey and concludes that the identity journeys can eventually lead to empowered identities. This is not to suggest that there is a need for Korean adoptees to “understand and appreciate their Korean identity” or that they should become disgruntled with the institution of transracial adoption; rather, the dance of identity theory allows for adoptees to empower their journeys, to own it for themselves, and to decide what it means to be or not to be a Korean American adoptee. The main difference between the current racial identity development models and the dance of identity theory rests in the belief that there is no one starting place and thus no one ending place; there is no one direct path to empowerment—rather, empowering one's identity comes through engaged explorations and continuous reflections.

Keywords:   Korean adoptees, identity journey, empowered identity, transracial adoptees, racial identity, Korean American adoptee

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