Min Chung Book Cover Younger Generation

Younger-Generation Korean Experiences in the United States is an edited anthology that compares two different cohorts of Korean Americans in the formation of ethnic and racial identities using thirteen personal essays written by 1.5-generation and second-generation Korean Americans. The first cohort grew up in the 1960s and early 1970s while the second cohort grew up in the 1980s and early 1990s. Each of the essays explores four influential factors of ethnic identity formation: (1) retention of ethnic culture versus adaptation into mainstream American culture, (2) participation in ethnic social networks, (3) connections/links to the mother country or lack thereof, and (4) experiences with racial prejudice and discrimination. The first three factors pertain to internal factors while the last one is an external factor.

The great increase in the Korean population in the United States, the accompanying increase in ethnic and social service organizations, and South Korea’s emergence as an economic and cultural power contributed to the later cohort’s greater retention of their cultural heritage compared to the earlier cohort. The substantial decrease in racism against Asian Americans also contributed to the second cohort’s acceptance of Korean-American ethnic identity more comfortably than the first cohort.

Although there is a great deal of academic literature on ethnic identity and the “new second-generation” children of post-1965 immigrants to the U.S., there are very few books that use personal narratives as the primary mechanism to explore these sociological topics. Furthermore, this book makes a particularly significant contribution to studies of 1.5- and second-generation ethnic identity formation since it contains essays by two different cohorts of Korean Americans, all of whom addressed similar points of comparison. This book will be useful and interesting to both scholars and lay readers, particularly to U.S.-born children of immigrants.

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. 

This English-language article, titled "Twice-Migrant Chinese and Indians in the United States: Their Origins and Attachment to Their Original Homeland," examines diasporic ethnic Chinese and Asian Indians who have re-migrated from outside of their respective homelands to the United States (hence the term, "twice-migrant"). Pyong Gap Min (Professor of Sociology at CUNY Queens College and The Graduate Center) and Sung S. Park (Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at UCLA) co-authored this article, which was originally published in Development and Society (the journal of The Institute for Social Development and Policy Research at Seoul National University in Korea).

Read the authors' abstract below for further description of the article. We would like to thank Development and Society and the authors for granting us permission to post this article on Korean American Data Bank.

"China and India, the two most populated countries in the world, also have the largest overseas populations scattered all over the world. Following the global migration flow, many overseas Chinese and Indians have re-migrated from their diasporic communities to the United States in the post-1965 immigration era. This article, focusing on twice-migrant Chinese and Indians in the United States, has two interrelated objectives. First, it shows twice-migrant Chinese and Indians' regions and countries of origin that roughly reflect their global dispersals. Second, it examines their attachment to their original homeland using two indicators: use of ethnic language (a Chinese or an Indian language) at home and their choice of ancestry. It uses the combined 2009-2011 American Community Surveys as the primary data source. This article is significant because by using an innovative data source, it describes the origins and ethnic attachment of the two largest twice-migrant groups in the United States."

Keywords: Chinese overseas population, Indian overseas population, Re-migrants, Twice Migrants, Middleman minorities, Ethnic attachment, Middleman minority theory, Diaspora

This article was originally published in Development and Society, Vol. 43, Issue No. 2, December 2014, pages 381-401


This English-language paper, titled "The Intergenerational Differences in Marital Patterns among Korean Americans," was written by Pyong Gap Min (Professor of Sociology at Queens College/CUNY Graduate Center and Director of RCKC) and Chigon Kim (Professor of Sociology at Wright State University). Using U.S. Census data, Min and Kim examine differences in marriage patterns among different cohorts and generations of Korean Americans, including pre-1965 immigrants, post-1965 immigrants, 1.5-generation and U.S.-born Korean Americans, and single- and multi-racial Korean Americans. This paper will be featured as a chapter in a forthcoming book to be published by Lexington Books in late 2014-early 2015. The book will be titled Younger-Generation Korean Experiences in the United States and Canada, co-edited by Pyong Gap Min and Samuel Noh (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto).

Published in Statistical Reports

This paper compares an earlier cohort (born and raised in the 1960s-early 1970s) and a later cohort (born and raised in the 1980s-early 1990s) of 1.5- and second-generation Korean Americans in terms of ethnic identity. It used personal identity essays by younger-generation Korean Americans as the major data source. The following four factors affect the formation of ethnic identity: (1) retention of ethnic culture, (2) participation in ethnic social networks, (3) linkages to the mother country and the latter’s global power and influence, and (4) experiences with racial prejudice and discrimination. There were major changes in these four factors affecting ethnic identity from the earlier period to the later period. As a result of the tremendous increase in the Korean population and the number of Korean ethnic organizations, younger-generation Korean Americans who grew up in the 1980s and early 1990s retained Korean culture and maintained ethnic social networks more successfully than the earlier cohort. They also maintained stronger linkages to their mother country, which exercised a greater global influence than in the earlier period. Thus, the Korean community and their home country provided the latter cohort with a more favorable environment for forming their ethnic identity than the earlier cohort. Additionally, the latter cohort encountered a lower level of racial rejection than the earlier cohort. The reduction of racial rejection allowed the later cohort of younger-generation Korean Americans to more voluntarily choose their ethnic identity, with far less inner struggle than the earlier cohort. Today’s younger-generation Korean-American children and adolescents live in an even more favorable environment for voluntarily forming ethnic identity than the 1980s-1990s cohort. 

*This paper was originally presented at the Fourth Annual Conference of the Research Center for Korean Community. The conference was held on April 5 and April 6, 2013, and it was held at Queens College. The conference was co-organized by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health at University of Toronto and the Research Center for Korean Community. The theme of the conference was “Second-Generation Korean Experiences in the United States and Canada.


© 2012 Korean American Database, Inc.
Designed and Maintained by Internet E-Business, LLC.