This study examines the migrant experience of women of the Yongsan red-light district and its significance through life-history methodology and long-term participatory observation. First, migration is an event that transforms one’s whole life and stands between the expulsion from one’s regular life space and the challenge of a new life. The process of adapting to the mainstream space in which one’s past or history can be denounced, includes not only financial problems but those of identity and cultural conflict, among others, and is supported by the intimacy, communication, a sense of belonging, and social approval in the relationships with neighbors, colleagues, and other people. These women’s community brings forward the need for an alternative in-between space, suggesting that a genuine empowerment and de-embodiment of boundaries is possible not through an one-way adaptation or support but through the realization of mutual exchange.


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pp. 233-271
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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