Last Wednesday, May 23, 2018, Dr. Yoonsun Choi of The University of Chicago gave an interesting and well-attended talk about "Growing Up Korean American (코리안 어메리칸으로 성장하기)" at Global Leadership Foundation (GLF) in Flushing, Queens. Approximately 40 people attended the talk, and there was a lively and interesting Q & A session and discussion after the lecture.

Dr. Choi showed how Korean cultural traditions are maintained among the immigrant parent generation, but also how some of these traditions persevere among the second-generation youth. She presented longitudinal research that showed some of the complexities involved in Korean immigrant parents raising U.S.-born children. Some of her findings illustrated the huge cultural gap that often exists between Korean immigrants and second-generation Korean Americans, particularly regarding educational and occupational achievement and self-esteem and other psychological issues. However, she also emphasized that many Korean-American youth show an integrated bicultural identity despite being socialized in the U.S. and "growing up American." She suggested that Korean immigrant parents should make a greater effort to understand the difficulties that their U.S.-born children face as racially othered Americans, rather than simply pushing too hard and being too strict.

Yoonsun Choi is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Her fields of special interest include minority youth development; effects of race, ethnicity, and culture in youth development; children of immigrants; Asian American youth; and prevention of youth problem behaviors.


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