Announcing one of our new Korea Foundation-Korea Institute Postdoctoral Fellows for AY20-21, Dr. Jennifer Hough. Jennifer Hough is a social anthropologist specializing in the politics of inclusion and exclusion in divided societies, with a particular interest in questions of social inequality, identity, and belonging. She received her DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2017 with a thesis analyzing the specific challenges that young North Korean migrants face after arrival in South Korea. Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork, her research addresses the question of why North Koreans continue to struggle in South Korea, despite shared cultural and linguistic heritage and considerable financial support from the South Korean government. In exploring this gap between the expectations and realities of resettlement, her work raises questions about the nature of citizenship and belonging in a uniquely partitioned historic nation.
Jennifer’s publications have appeared in Geopolitics and Critical Asian Studies, and her research has been supported by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, the Academy of Korean Studies, and the Pony Chung Foundation, among others. She has also previously worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at SOAS University of London and Korea University. She is currently working on a book manuscript that uses the detailed narratives of North Korean migrants to explore their experiences of limited inclusion, analyzing the mechanisms of their hierarchical differentiation and the ways that they actively work to achieve a sense of practical belonging in South Korean society.