Experience designer & researcher

Aging Justice

Aging Justice for Elderly Korean American Women


Although Census studies show that the growth of the U.S. population has been slowing, it is expected that between 2000 and 2030, the population older than age 65 will double. While this demographic shift has received considerable biomedical attention, the ethical issues and justice concerns associated with a growing aging population, have been relatively obscured. My thesis is a feminist bioethical analysis of aging justice for elderly Korean American women guided by three central questions:

1. What is necessary for aging with dignity and respect?

2. Conversely, what obstacles limit the ability of elderly Korean American women to continue to develop and exercise their capacities, express their needs, thoughts, and feelings and be heard in a way that counts?

3. What can we learn about aging justice when we take seriously the experiences and voices of elderly Korean women who are relatively powerless and marginalized?

 The focus on this social group reflects both a theoretical need to allow sufficient detailed consideration of the particularities of a specific community and my personal commitment to study the aging injustice I have observed, as someone raised in a Korean American community and by a Korean grandmother. Thanks to the support of the Schiff Fellowship, I spent four weeks dedicated to conducting ethnographic research in Seattle, WA.