Break the Cycle!
This chapter examines re-evaluations of the “Korean Wind” (which has drawn Korean Chinese workers to migrate from China to to South Korea) in the wake of the global rise of the Chinese economy. The financial crisis of 2008 dramatically altered the terms of the “Korean dream” by greatly increasing Chinese economic clout, causing many Korean Chinese to turned their attention to a new “Chinese dream.” The ethnography detailed here reveals new social imperatives in China, which encourage Korean Chinese migrants to transform themselves into entrepreneurs who manage their own money, businesses, and futures. Yet Korean Chinese migrants, many of whom have grown accustomed to working as physical laborers in South Korea, sometimes for a decade or more, often find it difficult to compete in the new Chinese socioeconomic context. The chapter elaborates on their efforts to break the cycle of migration in the new era of the post–Korean Wind.