Papers and Book Chapters

paper-bookThis category consists of published and unpublished articles and book chapters about Korean Americans and other overseas Korean populations. While there are many important and varied published works on Korean Americans, there is also a notable amount of writings that have been accepted by journals or edited books that have not yet gone to press. One of the many benefits of the data bank is the convenience with which we can update the content, thus we feel that it is especially important to include these newer journal articles and studies. We will also include some Korean-language articles focusing on Koreans settled in other countries, from the journal Studies of Koreans Abroad.

The main purpose of this paper is to examine the history of Korean restaurants in Manhattan, New York City in the 1960s and 1970s. These Korean restaurants were the pioneers in the globalization of Korean food. "Mi Cin" is presumed to have been the first Korean restaurant in Manhattan and opened on March 1, 1960. We can estimate that there were four Korean restaurants in Manhattan in the 1960s. The number of Korean restaurants increased to more than 18 in the 1970s, and their main menu items were divided into three types: Korean fusion menus, such as "Lunch Special," for American customers, the beef barbecue menu for American and Korean customers, and Korean traditional menus for the increasing numbers of Korean immigrants.

This article was originally published in Journal of the Korean Society of Food Culture (No. 6, Vol. 26, December 2011), a journal based in Korea. We acknowledge the editor of the journal for giving the Center permission to post the article on Korean American Data Bank. The author, Dr. Kyou-Jin Lee, stayed at our Center as a visiting scholar in the 2010-2011 academic year. 

The mass migration of people from all over the world to the U.S. in the post-1965 era has led to the presence of many people of Korean ancestry in the U.S. from various diasporic communities outside of Korea. This paper focuses on re-migrant (“twice-migrant”) Koreans from global diasporic communities to the U.S. It has three specific objectives. First, it looks at the countries and regions of twice-migrant Koreans’ origins. Second, it examines their socioeconomic characteristics. Finally, and most significantly, this paper examines twice-migrant Koreans’ attachment to Korea. The combined 2006-2010 American Community Surveys were used as a major data source. There were more than 55,000 Korean immigrants in the U.S. born outside of Korea in 2008, which makes up about 6% of all Korean immigrants. Eighty-two percent of them originated from Asian countries. Twice-migrant Koreans are found to have substantially lower educational level and lower individual incomes than direct migrants from Korea, but the differences among different twice-migrant subgroups are significant. All twice-migrant subgroups, but those from China, have preserved the Korean language in low proportions. Moreover, they, including even twice-migrant Koreans from China, have lower levels of psychological attachment to Korea. Only twice-migrant Koreans from non-Asian countries, mostly from Europe and South America, have a very high level of attachment to Korea, measured by their acceptance of Korea as their ancestral homeland. The majority of them are presumed to be second-generation Koreans whose parents immigrated to their settlement countries in the post-1965 era.    

This study aims to examine the degrees of overseas Korean adoptees’ awareness, use, satisfaction, and evaluation of post-adoption services provided by the Korean government and adoption-related organizations. For this purpose, we conducted an internet survey of 767 overseas Korean adoptees between October and November of 2011. Because identity is an important characteristic of overseas Korean adoptees, we distinguish four types of overseas Korean adoptees by considering the strength and weakness of both Korean identity and adoptee identity. Main findings are as follows. Adoptees who have strong Korean identity are more satisfied than other types of adoptees with services provided by adoptee self-help organizations and adoption-related consulting services. They are also more likely to recognize the necessity of services related with employment and settlement in Korea. By contrast, adoptees who have strong adoption identity are less satisfied than other types of adoptees with longer-term services like family search, job hunting, and medical services. As policy recommendations, we suggest the expansion of long-term services, provision of services tailored to the needs and characteristics of adoptees, improvement of accessibility and use of an one-stop family search information center, expansion of professional adoption consultants, empowerment of adoption self-help organizations, and expansion of mentors for returning adoptees.

Australia is home to a sizeable Korean immigrant population, with more than 70,000 Koreans concentrated in Sydney. This research report provides results of a survey study, based on interviews with 65 Korean immigrant business owners, on Korean businesses in the restaurant industry. In addition, the report provides fundamental information on Koreans in Australia, including immigration patterns, reasons for immigration, and Korean enclaves, as well as suggesting policy recommendations for the future of the Korean community in Sydney. The authors of the report, Professors Jock Collins and Joon Shin, were kind enough to allow the Research Center to post this report on Korean American Data Bank in its efforts to share information on the Korean population around the world.      

Since the mid-1990s, transnationalism has been a buzz word in migration studies. While many social scientists have contributed to the burgeoning literature, there has been little research conducted on Korean-Canadian transnationalism. This paper reports on a survey that is conducted in the Greater Toronto Area involving 274 adult Korean-Canadians. It provides a descriptive profile of transnational linkages and behavior among Korean-Canadians in Toronto. The paper also considers a possible link between transnational behaviors, social integration, and migrant well-being. It is the first paper that provides a comprehensive set of survey data on North American Korean immigrants’ transnational ties to their homeland.   

Korean immigrant merchants in New York, Los Angeles, and other major metropolitan areas had severe conflicts with black customers, white suppliers, and other external groups in the 1980s and early 1990s. However, since the mid 1990s, their business-related conflicts have almost disappeared. This chapter explains that the changes in Korean immigrants’ business patterns, along with the changes in external factors, are responsible for the virtual disappearance of Korean merchants’ business-related inter-group conflicts in New York. In particular, it explains why black boycotts of Korean stores, which were prevalent in New York in the 1980s and early 1990s, almost disappeared. Changes in Korean immigrants’ business patterns in New York include lower self-employment rates compared to the 1980s and early 1990s, the reduction of Korean stores in black neighborhoods, Koreans' shift from retail businesses to service businesses, and their overall economic integration into the mainstream economy, including a predominant majority of second-generation Koreans’ entry into it. External factors include the conversion of lower-income black neighborhoods to more multiracial neighborhoods, and the movement of many mega stores to lower-income black neighborhoods. The same changes have occurred in other major metropolitan areas and thus Korean immigrants’ business-related conflicts have been significantly reduced in other areas too.    

Using in-depth interviews with 21 Korean international student wives (ISWs) and 8 student husbands, this paper explores the ways in which spousal power relations and the division of household labor changed for Korean ISWs after their migration to the U.S. In contrast to previous studies on ISWs that unanimously reported that the status of wives lowered after migration, this paper finds that the spousal relations of Korean ISWs were bifurcated between homemakers and female students. While homemakers became subordinate to their student husbands after migration, female students maintained egalitarian spousal relationships. In addition, whereas homemakers’ share of household labor and childcare responsibilities increased abruptly after migration, female students enjoyed a much more equal division of household labor. This paper discusses various factors that led to such divergent paths: the goals of migration, legal/social statuses and dependence on husbands, wives’ paid employment, the extent of wives’ social networks, and the living arrangements after migration. Although this study is based on the experiences of Korean ISWs, the findings can provide insights into the lives of other middle-class temporary migrant women across their countries of origin, because they may experience the same gender dynamics as middle-class temporary migrant women who are not allowed to work after migrating to the U.S. due to their similar types of visas.

Historically, Koreans have suffered a great deal of internal conflicts, mostly in the form of power struggles, while they showed a high level of solidarity reacting to external threats. Korean immigrants in the U.S. have gone through similar internal conflicts, combined with intensive solidarity when encountering external threats. Korean immigrants’ business-related conflicts with Black customers, White suppliers, Latino employees, White landlords, and government agencies have all enhanced their ethnic solidarity. However, among all the types of business-related conflicts with outside groups, Korean immigrants’ community-wide solidarity was enhanced the most by Black boycotts of Korean stores and the victimization of many Korean merchants during the 1990s riots. This chapter from Pyong Gap Min’s book Caught in the Middle: Korean Communities in New York and Los Angeles examines in detail how major Black boycotts of Korean stores in New York City and the victimization of many Korean merchants during the 1990s Los Angeles riots have enhanced Koreans’ ethnic solidarity and political consciousness. Memories of minority groups’ major historical sufferings, such as the Holocaust and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, have long become symbols of ethnic identity over generations. The victimization of many innocent Korean merchants during the Los Angeles riots is the most severe historical suffering Korean immigrants in the U.S. have ever experienced. As such, it will serve as an important historical event in the Korean community that will help second-, third- and higher-generation Korean Americans to preserve their ethnic identity.  Reading this chapter on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Sa-I-Gu, when Korean Americans are struggling for community empowerment, will be meaningful.

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