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Our growing Sociology list has a global outlook featuring high-quality research across emerging and established areas in the field, such as digital sociology, migration, gender, race and ethnicity, public sociology, and children and families.
The narratives of women activists highlight the important roles of critical awakening, a sense of responsibility, guilt and moral conscience, reciprocity and caring for others, as well as an altruistic vision for others, all as driving forces for their activism. These findings highlight two major interrelated characteristics: relational and future-oriented dimensions. Founded on these, I present a new theoretical concept that I call ‘Altruistic Political Imagination’, which seeks to describe North Korean women’s human rights activism more aptly than existing concepts around imagination and altruism. This framework is an ongoing development built on my previous work on North Korean human rights activism.
This final chapter provides a recapitulated overview of the book, drawing on all the chapters. It re-emphasizes the significance of activism in improving the lives of North Korean women. It also reinforces the salient contribution of Altruistic Political Imagination in unpacking human rights activism, in conjunction with its potentially wider application to the analyses of other movements and activism. Additionally, it examines what has been achieved so far through the activism of North Korean women abroad, as well as other international endeavours to improve the situations of North Korean women. This chapter further discusses some limitations of the study and makes recommendations for future research.
This chapter examines North Korean women’s individual experiences of grave human rights violations, both inside the regime and after they have escaped to China. The first part focuses on women’s narratives of human rights issues in North Korea, such as domestic violence and sexual harassment. The second part explores women defectors’ experiences during their escape, primarily focusing on human trafficking and forced/voluntary marriages to Chinese men. It also presents the harrowing experiences women endured during and after repatriation to North Korean detention centres. The main argument of this chapter is that North Korean women experience a continuous cycle of oppression throughout their lives, both inside and outside North Korea, owing to the intersection of the deep-seated patriarchal structure of North Korea, the absence of freedom of movement, and China’s treatment of North Korean border-crossers as illegal migrants.
This chapter examines changes and constants in North Korean society since the mid-1990s, when the country faced severe famine. In particular, it investigates the rise of the informal market economy – and its subsequent impact on gender roles – and a large exodus of women to China as a consequence of the economic crisis. The chapter situates the North Korean diaspora within the context of globalization and its implications for North Korean refugees and their human rights. It further discusses human rights debates in North Korea and defector human rights activism outside North Korea.
Recent North Korean diaspora has given rise to many female refugee groups fighting for the protection of women’s rights.
Presenting in-depth accounts of North Korean women defectors living in the UK, this book examines how their harrowing experiences have become an impetus for their activism. The author also reveals how their utopian dream of a better future for fellow North Korean women is vital in their activism.
Unique in its focus on the intersections between gender, politics, activism and mobility, Lim's illuminating work will inform debates on activism and human rights internationally.
This chapter explores the narratives of North Korean women activists about their involvement in human rights activism, including critical awakening and the turning point of their identity from victim to activist. The chapter examines motivating factors for their activism, as well as challenges and strategies. The women’s narratives suggest a strong sense of altruism and concern for other people in similar situations, which have operated as motivators for their activism. In conjunction with this, their imagination of a better future for fellow North Korean women (and children) has become the driving force behind their activism. The chapter further discusses their plans from an operational perspective: what possible collaborations and works could be undertaken?
This chapter examines methodological considerations, focusing on ethical issues and the challenges of studying North Korean women defectors and their human rights issues. It applies a critical feminist approach. The chapter begins with a phenomenological method, linking to the life history and power of storytelling. Due to the risk of potential repercussions that defectors and their families face from the regime, as well as the sensitive nature of the topic, the study raises several ethical concerns. In addition, the dynamics between a woman researcher of South Korean heritage and North Korean women defectors poses methodologically important questions. Reflecting upon these, the chapter discusses the complex dynamics between insider and outsider, knower and enquirer, in a critical manner.
Syrian refugees who sought asylum in Germany underwent an intensive integration regime. This resulted in binary notions of ‘well-integrated’ migrants versus those who failed to fulfil the narrow definitions of a ‘good’ refugee, thus straining the relationship between refugees and the state.
This book examines the relationship that refugees have with the administrative state through the perspective of the integration regime. While some asylum seekers gained international protection, others were left with limited agency to demand government accountability for the ever-moving target of integration.
This book provides an ethnography of Syrian refugees who sought asylum in Germany during this period and shows how they navigated the terms of conditional inclusion defined both legally and socially in order to ‘successfully’ integrate into German society. This narrow form of integration is defined by learning the German language and gaining financial independence, which is incentivized via access to permanent residency or German citizenship through achievements like contributions to federal retirement schemes or higher language certificates.
The book is presented from a historical context of the so-called European refugee crisis of 2015 and is divided three parts. Part I deals with arrival and asylum applications in German. Part II addresses the integration regime at large, exploring language courses and attempts to gain employment. Part III deals with the potential outcomes for Syrian refugees, answering the following question: what occurs when conditions of inclusion are fulfilled?
The refugee experience is presented here by showing the shift from performativity to precarity among Syrians. By addressing the more bureaucratic policy aspects of migration law, the changes in migration law since 2015 are highlighted. This chapter frames these policies with direct quotes from refugees who participated in narrative interviews and describes the regionality of administrative decision making. It highlights the landscape of emergency housing that was developed as asylum applications increased from 2015 to 2016 and how local structures influenced access to language courses. Importantly, the theory of existential mobility is explored, showing how the insecurities that refugees faced upon arrival failed to meet expectations and led them to struggle to orientate themselves towards the future. Lastly, this chapter introduces the distinction that separates the subsequent chapters into two major categories: it distinguishes the experience of young men and of parents by highlighting social and familial differences. This is expressed towards the end of this chapter in terms of the kind of refugee protection the two groups received and the discrimination that they faced when seeking private housing.
This concluding chapter explores a range of subjects outlined in the volume and presents new areas of inquiry that developed from the research. The key points of the book are presented in order to explain the primary takeaways from the work. It explains that, like migration, integration is seen as something linear, but my research reveals that bureaucracies, personal conditions and social structures often caused refugees to repeat bureaucratic processes and return to points of exclusion, despite having achieved official conditions of inclusion. The chapter then analyses the potential future for integration policy in Germany and Europe. It argues that the case of Germany presents a perspective that reflects the Global North’s tendency for exclusionary immigration policy, while highlighting how Germany uniquely invested extensively in integration, with questionable results. Lastly, it reflects on the potential future associated scholarship and the limitations of doing migration research under current conditions of transnational movement.