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Younger-Generation Korean Experiences in the United States

Personal Narratives on Ethnic and Racial Identities

Edited by Pyong Gap Min and Thomas Chung - Contributions by Linda Park; Rose Kim; Alex Jeong; Ruth Chung; Brenda Chung; Sun Park; Thomas Chung; Bora Lee; Helene K. Lee; Dave Hahn; Sung S. Park; Katherine Yungmee Kim; Alexandra Noh and Hyein Lee

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Younger-Generation Korean Experiences in the United States: Personal Narratives on Ethnic and Racial Identities compares the formation of the ethnic identities of two distinct cohorts of Korean Americans. Through personal essays, the book explores four influential factors of ethnic identity: retention of ethnic culture; participation in ethnic social networks; links to the mother country and its global power and influence; and experiences with racial prejudice and discrimination. The essays reflect certain major changes between the two cohorts—the first growing up in the 1960s and early 1970s and the second growing up during the 1980s and early 1990s— and proves how an increase in the Korean population and in the number of ethnic organizations helped the second-cohort Korean Americans retain their cultural heritage in a more voluntary, and therefore meaningful, way. This book’s combination of first-hand experiences and critical analysis makes it a valuable resource for studies of ethnicity, culture, identity formation, and the Asian-American experience. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 254Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/4
978-0-7391-9141-5 • Hardback • June 2014 • $90.00 • (£60.00)
978-0-7391-9546-8 • Paperback • April 2016 • $44.99 • (£29.95)
978-0-7391-9142-2 • eBook • June 2014 • $44.99 • (£29.95)
Pyong Gap Min is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He also serves as director of the Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College.

Thomas Chung
is a writer and editor for the Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College. He is also a PhD student at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Part 1: Introduction - Pyong Gap Min and Thomas Chung

Part 2: The Earlier Cohort-1
Authenticity Dilemma among Pre-1965 Native-Born Koreans - Linda Park


Part 3: The Earlier Cohort-2
My Trek - Rose Kim
A Handicapped Korean in America - Alex Jeong
Reflections on a Korean-American Journey - Ruth Chung

Part 4: The Later Cohort, Group1
Growing Up Korean American: Navigating a Complex Search for Belonging - Brenda Chung
How to Be a Korean - Sun Park
Too American to Be Korean, Too Korean to Be American: A Second-Generation Outsider’s Account - Thomas Chung
The Way I See It - Bora Lee

Part 5: The Later Cohort, Group 2
Miyeok Guk for the Korean Soul - Helene K. Lee
Anyone Ever Tell You that You Look Like…? - Dave Hahn
Family Matters: Emerging Adulthood and the Evolution of My Ethno-Racial Identity - Sung S. Park

Part 6: The Later Cohort, Group 3
The Outlier - Katherine Yungmee Kim
할머니안녕? (Halmuhnee Ahn-Nyung?) - Alexandra Noh
What it Means to Be Korean - Hyein Lee

Part 7: Comments Chapter - Pyong Gap Min and Thomas Chung
By presenting the voices of Korean Americans—in fascinating and often moving personal narratives that explore identities, networks, and links to South Korea—this book enriches our understanding of the second-generation experience.
Nancy Foner, Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY


Comparing the experiences of Korean American youth in two different time periods, this unique and insightful book examines the ways in which internal and external factors have contributed to different ethnic and racial identity formations. Drawing on personal narratives, the book is immanently engaging, and thus will appeal to a broad audience of scholars and students, as well as the public at large.
Mehdi Bozorgmehr, Professor of Sociology, CUNY


This is a wonderfully informative study of the complex phenomenon of ethnic identity among Korean Americans. The detailed qualitative analysis reveals the significance of historical context, social ties, and experiences with racial prejudice. This book should be of interest to anyone who wishes to understand the formation of Asian American ethnic identities.
Arthur Sakamoto, Texas A&M University


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