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. 

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.   

Contemporary migration is distinct from past migration, and the transnational family currently encompasses an increasingly wider range of family structures that affects a wider range of cultures and nations. In the 1960s and 1970s, labor migrants from a developing South Korea left spouses, mostly wives, and children for economic opportunities abroad only to have their families re-connect with them in a more or less permanent move overseas. More recently, Korea's new position in the global economy has shifted family demography and strategies for social and economic mobility. It is in this context that the transnational family has re-emerged and taken a new form. This time children are being sent abroad for edcuational opportunities, leaving one or both parents to work in Korea, and often with the hope of re-uniting as a family back in Korea. But, this type of transnational family in contrast to the intact migrant family remains little understood. In this paper, we begin with a brief discussion of the social and political context of transnational family migration from South Korea to Canada and then using TKFS 2011 survey data, we situate our empirical comparisons of transnational and intact families in the literature on migration motivations and on those dimensions understood to be important for structuring transnational opportunities such as motivations, social class background, gender and the division of household labor, and social networks and previous exposure. 

 

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