Being inside, outside or in-between across Finland and South Korea : An investigation on cultural identities with Korean immigrant children in Finland

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Nordic Visual Studies and Art Education
This master thesis explores perceptions on identities as a being inside, outside, or in-between through the engagement with a group of Korean immigrant children living in Finland. The question is “How has cultural and national identities been deconstructed and formed in the association with hybridity of Korean immigrant children in Finland?” It touches upon flexibility, plurality, and hybridity in cultural and national identities of the researcher and the Korean immigrant children based on Homi K. Bhabha in his book the Location of Culture (1994). To understand implication of hybridity and plural identities of the immigrant, I used two methodologies. One is crystallization as a methodology and it enables to crystalize multiple genres and voices of data. The other is visual ethnography with the children and it includes a part of auto-ethnography with the engagement with my reflexive writings. With the account of hybridity, I conducted the task of collecting daily pictures of the Korean immigrant children in order to gain their aspects of living in Finland and their images. For the second part, I conducted the workshop of drawing mind maps and writing an introduction for Finland and South Korea. As a result of the investigation, I could unfold the way how hybridity is presented through writings, mind maps, and daily pictures. Children’s pictures show a possibility of being ‘in-between’ and creating the third space on a process of translating a culture. Also, it presents the differences between 1.5 generation of an immigrant and the second generation on a sense of attachment to one side of countries. Mind maps and writings of the children for Finland and South Korea reveals that narratives of a nation could be related with their daily life, but easily directed by representative images and narratives. According to Bhabha(1994), hybrid identities and cultures from the immigrant en-able to create the third space because of untranslatability between multiple cultures. The result of the work with the children addresses a possibility of forming their third space, but it leaves a question on hybridity in the digital era where every culture is connected and streamed on the virtual reality. I leave a question unsolved on a possibility of forming hybrid culture and identity when the internet is used for the second generation of the immigrant as a drive to reinforce a sense of longing for rooted, singular, and original identity and their culture. It casts a question on meaning of hybridity emerged from the internet.
Pusa, Tiina
Thesis advisor
Kallio-Tavin, Mira
identity, hybridity, immigrant, nation, post-colonialism, Homi K. Bhabha
Other note