In writing this book, I was supported by the generosity and enthusiasm of
family, friends, colleagues, as well as strangers who sometimes became dear
friends. Many people were very excited about this project, and this enthu-
siasm inspired me to continue to research and write. They have waited a long
time to see this book.
I am truly grateful to the people in Seoul and Los Angeles who were
willing to meet me, to be interviewed, and to hang out. Despite their ter-
rifically busy schedules, they opened their lives to me and often demon-
strated a great amount of openness and trust. I know I can never repay them
for their time. I hold them in high regard, and I hope that my a√ection for
them shows in this text.
My academic training has been shaped by teachers and mentors who gen-
erously shared their passion for intellectual engagement. Purnima Manke-
kar has been an inspiration as an uncompromising intellectual, a passionate
activist, and a close friend. I have been welcomed into her family, and I am
more grateful for her generosity and friendship than I can express. The
Cultural and Social Anthropology department (casa) was an amazing pro-
gram to be a part of while it lasted. When I became a member of its first
cohort, a spirit of newness and creativity became the hallmarks of my edu-
cation. My dissertation committee members, Purnima Mankekar, Paulla
Ebron, David Palumbo-Liu, and Gi-wook Shin, were incisive in their cri-
tiques and unwavering in their support. Faculty members Paulla Ebron,
Purnima Mankekar, Miyako Inoue, Sylvia Yanagisako, Akhil Gupta, Gordon
Chang, Renato Rosaldo, Nicholas DeGenova, Valentin Mudimbe, and David
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