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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Exoticizing the Familiar, Domesticating the Foreign: Ethnic Food Restaurants in Korea

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2010, v.50 no.1, pp.110-132
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2010.50.1.110

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Abstract

This paper is based on anthropological fieldwork on ethnic food restaurants in Korea that provide international cuisine (except for Chinese, Japanese, and mainstream Western cuisine). In particular, the research focused on Indian restaurants, noticing their rapid increase in today’s restaurant scene in Korea. Through interviews and observations, the author explored how a foreign cuisine is perceived and accepted by local customers, and how restaurateurs strategize their businesses to suit the Korean cultural environment as entrepreneurs. Koreans construct and express their global identities through consuming these ethnic cuisines. Cultural processes of standardization, localization,and hybridization function over the course of the cuisine’s adaptation within Korea. Simultaneously, each ethnic cuisine acquires its own global identity in the process.

keywords
ethnic food ethnic restaurants identity globalization culture of consumption

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