The Cultural Looking Glass: A Narrative Analysis of Korean Female Professors in the U.S. Academy


Ji Yoon Christine Moon

PhD defended at: 

Texas State University



Women’s representation on university campuses in general has advanced gradually, and greater efforts have been made in establishing a diverse student body, rather than pursuing diverse faculty. Through narrative inquiry, this study explored what can be known from identifying the gaps in the literature regarding Korean values and women faculty of Korean descents’ lives for women who hold professional academic positions in the U.S. academy. This qualitative study’s central research questions are: (1) In what ways do the notions of identity and positionality influence female faculty members of Korean descent and their experiences in the U.S. academy? (2) How do these women navigate Korean and U.S. cultural systems present in their personal and professional lives? The conceptual framework utilized two theories that guided this study including transnational feminism and positionality, and were used to better understand the ways the female participants made meaning through complex aspects of their identities that included considering social class professional identity. As such, this framework allowed for meaningfully constructed realities that were not fixed, but changing in fluid and unique ways.

ICAS is an initiative of the
International Insitute for Asian Studies