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Yobo: Conceptualizaing the "Korean Bargirl" in Hawai'i's Literature

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Title: Yobo: Conceptualizaing the "Korean Bargirl" in Hawai'i's Literature
Authors: Fukushima, Annie
Advisor: Fujikane, Candace
Issue Date: 15 Jan 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: As conveyed in local jokes, Korean Americans in Hawai'i are homogenized by stereotypes, where they either stink because they "smell like kimchee," are "yobos," or are identified as bargirls. The Korean bargirl has become a prominent representation of Koreans in Hawai'i and their connection to local identity. Inspite of the varying occupations Koreans hold in Hawai'i, the stereotype of the Korean bargirl persists, causing many "local" and "non-local" Koreans to feel stigmatized by the association with the hostess bars. I would like to argue that the bargirl identity in Hawai'i evolved from Japanese colonization of Korea and the historical sexual exploitation of Korean women, the "Comfort Women." While it is important to recognize the origins of the bargirl identity in Hawai'i as being deeply rooted in Japanese colonization of Korea, it is also important to convey how bargirl identity perseveres in Hawai'i. It is necessary to realize that the bargirls in Hawai'i are not only Koreans, but include other ethnic groups whose ethnic origins are from colonized nations. While I delineate that Korean identity is heterogeneous, we must also recognize that the sexual exploitation of women persists in local dynamics. Literature will be a catalyst to conceptualize the paradigm in which the bargirl identity is represented. Through an in depth literary analysis of literary works produced by Korean writers in the collection Yobo Korean American Writings in Hawai'i, I will elucidate the origins of the stereotype of the bargirl and how Korean Americans in Hawai'i deal with such generalizations. Included in this thesis is my short story, "Hee Sun." The goal of this short story is not to enforce stereotypes through illustrating a Korean bargirl, but rather to illustrate how I, a Korean American woman, may come to terms with the bargirl stereotype and historical reality.
Pages/Duration: iv, 70 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/31750
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for English



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