Caught in the Middle: Korean Communities in New York And Los Angeles

Caught in the Middle: Korean Communities in New York And Los Angeles

by Pyong Gap Min, Pyong Gap Min
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520204891

ISBN-13: 9780520204898

Pub. Date: 11/30/1996

Publisher: University of California Press

In this unflinching exploration of one of the most politically charged topics of our time, Pyong Gap Min investigates the racial dynamics that exist between Korean merchants, the African American community, and white society in general. Focusing on hostility toward Korean merchants in New York and Los Angeles, Min explains how the "middleman" economic role Koreans…  See more details below

Overview

In this unflinching exploration of one of the most politically charged topics of our time, Pyong Gap Min investigates the racial dynamics that exist between Korean merchants, the African American community, and white society in general. Focusing on hostility toward Korean merchants in New York and Los Angeles, Min explains how the "middleman" economic role Koreans often occupy—between low-income, minority customers on the one hand and large corporate suppliers on the other—leads to conflicts with other groups. Further, Min shows how ethnic conflicts strengthen ties within Korean communities as Koreans organize to protect themselves and their businesses. Min scrutinizes the targeting of Korean businesses during the 1992 Los Angeles riots and the 1990 African American boycotts of Korean stores in Brooklyn. He explores Korean merchants' relationships with each other as well as with Latin American employees, Jewish suppliers and landlords, and government agencies. In each case, his nuanced analysis reveals how Korean communities respond to general scapegoating through collective action, political mobilization, and other strategies. Fluent in Korean, Min draws from previously unutilized sources, including Korean American newspapers and in-depth interviews with immigrants. His findings belie the media's sensationalistic coverage of African American-Korean conflicts. Instead, Caught in the Middle yields a sophisticated and clear-sighted understanding of the lives and challenges of immigrant merchants in America.

Author Biography: Pyong Gap Min is Professor of Sociology at Queens College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520204898
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
11/30/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
243
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Tables
Acknowledgments
1Introduction1
2Host Hostility and Middlemen's Reactions15
3Korean Communities: New York and Los Angeles27
4Korean Immigrants' Economic Segregation46
5Hostility toward Korean Merchants in Black Neighborhoods73
6Sources of Hostility toward Korean Merchants96
7Koreans' Efforts to Improve Relations with African Americans126
8Korean-African American Conflicts: Positive Effects146
9Koreans Merchants' Collective Responses to Suppliers, Landlords, and Government Agencies169
10Collective Actions and Power in the Korean Community193
11Korean Businesses: Negative Effects210
12Conclusion218
Notes227
References235
Index257

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