The love for kimchi : Korean transnational migrants, consciousness, health, and foodways.
Yuin, Freda Yu Wei.
Date of Issue2009
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
This research paper seeks to gain an insight into the consciousness of Korean transnational migrants in relation to the foodways they practice in Singapore. For a period of 5 months beginning in late August 2008, data on Korean transnational migrants and their foodways were collected through semi-structured interviews with 16 Korean transnational migrants who have been in Singapore for at least a year. Participant observation was also conducted during weekly sleepovers at a “Korean homestay.” Analysis of data collected reveals, with regard to foodways, Korean transnational migrants operate on two levels of consciousness, first, “habitus” (Bourdieu 2002:272) , which operates at the level of the ‘unconscious’ and secondly, cultural consciousness, that considers cultural identity in cross-cultural or cross-national social interactions. This paper sees food choice as relative and questions the essentialist view that draws a direct correlation between foodways and national and/or cultural identities neglecting contextualized and interactional dimensions of food consumption and identity and the influence cross-cultural interactions have on the kinds of food choices made.
Final Year Project (FYP)