The onward migration of North Korean refugees to Australia: in search of cosmopolitan habitus

Bronwen Dalton
Jacqueline Willis

Abstract


Based on assumed common ethnicity, language and culture, South Korea is believed to be the best country for North Korean defectors to restart their lives. This is, however, not necessarily the case. Since the mid-2000s, 2000 to 3000 North Koreans have allegedly settled in the UK, Canada, the US, Australia and EU countries. Despite this trend and its broader implications, the onward migration process of North Korean refugees, together with their motivations and lived experiences, remain poorly addressed in academic research. Drawing from the unique experience of North Korean refugees’ onward movement to Australia, the paper suggests that discarding a North Korean identity and habitus and gaining cosmopolitan habitus are the main reasons behind North Korean defectors’ onward migration. The paper is the first empirical study on North Korean refugees resettled in Australia to adopt habitus as a theoretical framework, and thus provides new insight into migration studies.  


Keywords


North Korea;North Korean refugees in Australia; onward migration;refugee policy and settlement policy; cosmopolitanism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/ccs.v9i3.5506