This bibliography of English-language social science literature on Korean Americans is intended to be a resource for scholars conducting research on Korean Americans. This document is divided into two main sections: (1) single-authored books and edited anthologies and (2) journal articles and book chapters. Because of the volume of literature on Korean Americans, which has increased significantly since the first version of this report was released in 2010, the journal articles and book chapters have been categorized into different topics, whereas the single-authored monographs and edited anthologies are in one big section titled "Books and Edited Anthologies." The journal articles and book chapters have been categorized according the following topics: (1) History, (2) Immigration and Settlement Patterns, (3) Socioeconomic Attainments and Assimilation, (4) Business and Business-related Inter-Group Conflicts, (5) Gender, Women, Family, the Elderly, and Social Services, (6) Ethnicity and Transnationalism, (7) Adoptees, War Brides, and Other Marginalized Korean Americans, (8) Korean Community, Ethnic Organizations, and Political Development, (9) Religious Practices and Religious Organizations, (10) Children, Education, and Psychology, (11) Health, and (12) Koreans in General. This document will not only help researchers understand research trends, but will also hopefully help them find research issues that are of interest to them. While every attempt has been made to compile a comprehensive bibliography, due to the vastness of research, we realize that we have overlooked some academic social science work. If you know of any published English-language books and/or journal articles on Korean Americans that are not included in this bibliography, please contact us at rckc.qc@gmail.com and let us know. We will update this document periodically.

 

Prof Min Koreans in North America Book Cover

Koreans in North America is an edited anthology that focuses on Korean-American and Korean-Canadian experiences in the twenty-first century. Six of the eleven chapters were written by the editor, Pyong Gap Min, while the remaining five chapters were written by social science professors of Korean descent in the U.S. and Canada. 

This book contains a good balance of statistical data and qualitative information. There are no other books that cover such a wide range of topics related to North American Korean experiences. Additionally, this is the only book that covers different aspects of both Korean-American and Korean-Canadian experiences. Particular attention is paid to changes over time in many different facets of Korean life in North America, including settlement patterns, entrepreneurship, transnationalism, and identity issues. 

The first three substantive chapters provide quantitative data on changing patterns of Korean immigration to the U.S., Korean Americans’ settlement patterns, and Korean immigrant businesses in New York. Chapter 5 compares Korean Protestant, Catholic, and Buddhist religious institutions in New York. Chapters 6 and 7 provide survey data on Korean immigrants’ transnational ties to Korea. Chapter 8 examines the division of gender roles and marital power among two groups of wives of Korean international students. Chapters 9 and 10 focus on identity issues among second-generation Korean Americans. The last chapter provides a critical review of the literature on Korean Americans and a comprehensive bibliography. This book will be useful to beginning researchers, social workers, community leaders, and policy makers, as well as to scholars. 

Building on insights from Min’s (2010) comparisons between Korean Protestants and Indian Hindus, and my findings of elite freshmen Korean racial insularity (2012), I use data from the Immigration and Intergenerational Mobility in Metropolitan Los Angeles (2004) survey to examine the extent to which religion serves to not only preserve ethnicity but also support insularity in young adult 1.5- and second-generation (“second generation” hereafter) Korean Americans. Findings suggest that at the racial level of comparison, second-generation Korean-American endogamy resembles that of white, black, and Latino endogamy; second-generation Korean-American endogamy reflects not only the highest intraracial marriage rate, but also the highest intraethnic marriage rate of all Asian groups in the sample. Further, religious married second-generation Korean Americans have the highest racially homogeneous composition rate in the congregations they attend relative to other racial groups and other Asian ethnicities. In multivariate analyses, these two dynamics of marital endogamy and congregational racial homophily produce strong effects on one another and diminish the unique Korean effect. Findings suggest that these group relational patterns are more evident for second-generation Korean Americans and may have implications for social mobility in a racialized context. 

*This paper was originally presented at the Fourth Annual Conference of the Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College CUNY, April 5-7, 2013. The paper was subsequently published in the journal Development and Society, Volume 42, Number 1, June 2013, pages 113-136. We would like to thank Development and Society for allowing us to post this paper on Korean American Data Bank. Special thanks to Thomas Chung for editorial assistance.

 

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