The economy of Kazakhstan (and particularly, agriculture) has been profoundly affected by the contributions of ethnic Koreans who were deported there in 1937 by Stalin's diktat. In Kazakhstan, which was known for widespread shortages of all consumer goods and particularly, food items, there was NO shortages in crops produced by ethnic Koreans. How did Koreans, who constituted only 5% of the population, manage to supply abundant amount of produce and cereals they were growing? How did they achieve such unusually high productivity in the midst of widespread inefficiencies and disincentives to work hard in the Soviet Union?
In this proposal I am asking for funding of a project that would involve first studying Korean language in summer program at Yonsei University in South Korea and then use of the acquired command of language to interview Kazakhstani Koreans, read local newspapers and other literary sources in Korean in order to research the topic.