By Soo-Young Chin, Dora Yum Kim
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Additional resources for Doing what had to be done: the life narrative of Dora Yum Kim
Additionally, Dora, like other Korean women who shared parts of their lives with me for my dissertation research, feels that I am adult in a way that very Page 5 few Korean women are. If you are single, the older Korean woman's obligation is to protect you from the potential pitfalls of marriage so that you can move toward that institution. If you are married, the older woman's role is to encourage you to comply with conventional standards of marriage. I am neither. I placed myself outside conventional Korean standards years ago when I was divorced.
18 Dora Yum Kim's life story is the first. Methodological Considerations The collection of a life story is a collaborative effort that emerges for various reasons. In discussing the need for collaboration in writing her life story, Dora commented, "You know I had a stroke a couple of years ago. I don't think I can wait any longer to write my life story and I can't write it alone. " For Dora, it is not just health issues that prevent her from writing an autobiography; to write about herself is not in the realm of acceptable behavior.
We never knew about the hardships because my parents never talked about it. We lived through the depression and we did okay. We were lucky because we were never hungry. Maybe that's because we had a restaurant. Others were not so lucky. I remember in our restaurant we always had Chinese cooks. One Chinese cook had a son. I guess he was about six years old. Have you seen those round-tiered Chinese lunch boxes? Well, this child used to go around to all the restaurants picking up the leftovers for dinner.