The Korean Americans / Edition 1

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Korean Americans are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States. Although they share many similar cultural characteristics with other Asian Americans, the Korean Americans are unique in terms of their strong ethnic attachment, extensive participation in Christian churches, heavy involvement in self-employed small businesses, wide geographic dispersion in settlement, and the emergence of the 1.5 generation phenomenon. This book answers the following questions for the student or interested reader:

• Who are the Korean people?

• Why did they come to the United States?

• How did they adapt to their new country?

• How are they received by the majority of Americans?

• What are their accomplishments, problems, and contributions to American society?

Other special features include:

• An extensive coverage on the ethnic background (history, language, religion, customs, and other cultural heritage) of Korean Americans.

• Current statistical data on Korean immigration to the United States.

• A comprehensive analysis of socioeconomic characteristics of Korean Americans as compared with those of other minority groups.

• A succinct analysis of the unique characteristics of Korean Americans.

• Effective use of personal narratives.

In 1970 there were about 70,000 Korean Americans—the number grew tenfold to about 790,000 in 1990. The Korean American population is now estimated at well over a million, and demographic projections indicate that the number will reach about three million by the year 2030. Korean Americans are thus among the new groups of Americans to become another integral part of the American history of cultural pluralism and ethnic diversity. Examined are the most significant areas of Korean American's adaptation—economic adjustment, sociocultural adaptation, family life, ethnic associations, intergroup relations, and psychological adjustment. In each area of adaptation, positive attainment as well as the problems of adjustment are analyzed in light of current theories and empirical research. The book concludes with a discussion of the unique characteristics of Korean Americans and their impact on society.

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Editorial Reviews

An introduction to the historical process of creating the Korean American identity. Four sections explore: the history, people, language, religion, and other aspects of the Korean cultural heritage; the historical circumstances and patterns of Korean immigration to the United States in its three phases from 1903 to the present; economic adjustment, cultural and social adaptation, family relations, ethnic associations, and other areas of adaptation to America; and finally, the impact that the Korean Americans have had on American society. Also includes an appendix providing 11 brief biographies of notable Korean Americans. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313297410
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/1998
  • Series: New Americans Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

WON MOO HURH, born in Korea, is Professor of Sociology at Western Illinois University.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations xi
Series Foreword xiii
Preface xv
Part I Background 1
1. Korean Ethnic Roots: The Land, History, People, and Culture 3
Land 3
History 4
People 11
Culture 12
Part II Coming to America 29
2. Korean Immigration to the United States: A Historical Overview 31
General Background of Korean Immigration 31
Causes and Characteristics of Korean Immigration 36
Part III Adjustment and Adaptation 49
3. Economic Adjustment 51
Demographic Characteristics 51
Socioeconomic Characteristics 53
4. Cultural and Social Adaptation 69
Cultural Assimilation 70
Social Adaptation 73
Strong Ethnic Attachment and Selective Assimilation 79
The Next Generation of Korean Immigrants 80
5. Family Life 83
The Korean American Family-Kinship System 83
The Structure of the Korean American Family 85
Korean Immigrant Wives' Burden of Double Roles 88
Socialization of Korean American Children 93
Care of the Elderly 101
6. Korean Ethnic Associations 105
The Korean Ethnic Church 107
Korean Buddhist Temples in America 114
Other Ethnic Associations 115
7. Intergroup Relations 121
Relations with White (European) Americans 123
Relations with African Americans 131
Relations with Other Asian Americans 137
8. Psychological Adjustment 141
Gender Differences in Mental Health 142
Length of Residence and Mental Health 142
Profiles of Korean Immigrants' Mental Health 146
Part IV Conclusion 159
9. Unique Characteristics of Korean Americans and Their Impact on American Society 161
Korean Ethnic Church 162
Self-Employment in Small Business 162
Urban Middle-Class Background and Its Implications 163
The 1.5 Generation Phenomenon 164
Korean Americans' Impact on American Society 165
Appendix Notable Korean Americans 169
References 173
Further Reading 185
Index 187
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