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Religions 2018, 9(7), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9070208

The Identity Strategy of “Wild-Geese” Fathers: The Craft of Confucian Fathers

1
Department of Sociology, University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, NY 12222, USA
2
Department of Sociology, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 23 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 3 July 2018
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Abstract

Transnational migration scholarship has discussed parents’ economic and emotional sacrifice for their children as a justification for separation. However, the researchers have overlooked addressing how the parents’ sacrifice is culturally ingrained, and fathers in the homeland construct their identity embedded in local culture. This article fills the gap by analyzing the experiences of Korean transnational fathers, “wild-geese fathers”, who live in South Korea. Using online data and narrative analysis, this article argues that wild-geese fathers identify themselves as tragic figures faced with emotional difficulties and successful heroes overcoming those difficulties. It shows that the mixed narrative of heroism is tied to Confucianism, which imbues fathers with the ideology of strong father controlling their emotions and intermediary roles producing children that are capable of maintaining the lineage honor. The analysis of wild-geese fathers shows that Confucianism proves to be a durable cultural resource for the contemporary Korean transnational family in a rapidly changing global era. View Full-Text
Keywords: transnational families; sacrifices; wild-geese fathers; globalization; Confucianism transnational families; sacrifices; wild-geese fathers; globalization; Confucianism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Jung, G.; Wang, H.S. The Identity Strategy of “Wild-Geese” Fathers: The Craft of Confucian Fathers. Religions 2018, 9, 208.

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