From Kim Chee to Moon Cakes: Feeding Asian Adoptees' Imaginings of Culture and Self

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A study of Korean adoptive parents and findings from "The Gathering of the First Generation of Adult Korean Adoptees" were analyzed to explore the role of food in constructing their multiple identities and connection to their birth heritage. Both parents and adoptees seemed to view food and other consumable cultural markers with some degree of ambivalence. Families largely encountered ethnic foods outside of the context of the home, in public settings such as restaurants and cultural events, for the purpose of exposing the adoptees to their birth culture. Adoptees' lack of cultural knowledge, which others presume them to possess, arguably positions them as observers, rather than participants, in Asian America. This article examines how adoptees' consumption of kimchee and moon cakes are both more and less important than adoptive parents understand.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2006

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