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Korean Immigrants in Canada

Korean Immigrants in Canada: Perspectives on Migration, Integration, and the Family

Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 312
  • Book Info
    Korean Immigrants in Canada
    Book Description:

    Readers will find interconnecting themes and synthesized findings throughout the chapters. Most importantly, this collection serves as a platform for future research on Koreans in Canada.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9038-7
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Foreword
    (pp. xi-2)

    Research on Korean immigrants in the United States started in the early 1970s, leading to the publication of several books and many journal articles. A comprehensive annotated bibliography prepared by this author in 2010 shows that more than 110 books, 30 of them edited volumes, and nearly five hundred journal articles and book chapters focusing on Korean-American experiences have been published. By contrast, owing to a shorter immigration history, a much smaller population size, and a lack of scholars dedicated to the subject, research on Koreans in Canada started much later, in the early 1990s. There is no social science...

  6. 1 Introduction: Historical Context and Contemporary Research
    (pp. 3-18)

    Judging by our conversations with people from all walks of life across the country, from Moncton to Victoria, the Korean population seems to be a bit of a mystery. Korean communities have been generating greater interest among scholars, policymakers, and local residents, likely because of their increased presence and visibility in Canadian cities. The 2006 census and immigration statistics showed a rapidly growing community, particularly in selected metropolitan areas including Toronto and Vancouver (J. Park, chapter 2, this volume) and increasingly in smaller cities and towns. Statistics Canada also projects Koreans to be one of the fastest growing visible minority...

  7. 2 A Demographic Profile of Koreans in Canada
    (pp. 19-34)

    This chapter provides a demographic profile of individuals of Korean origin living in Canada.¹ It describes the basic social and economic characteristics of members of the Korean community. Characteristics discussed in the chapter include population growth, immigration status, geographic distribution, age distribution, language proficiency, family status, religion, educational attainment, employment, occupation, and income of Canadians of Korean origin. Most information presented in this chapter is derived from the 2006 Census of canada. Statistics Canada conducts the census every five years. Information on ethnic or cultural origin was obtained from a long questionnaire of the census that at the time one...

  8. Part I: Understanding Korean Migration

    • 3 The Korean Diaspora from Global Perspectives
      (pp. 37-52)

      According to the 2009 statistics of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of South Korea, approximately 6.8 million Koreans are said to be residing abroad. This population of overseas Korean residents is equal to roughly 10 per cent of the total combined populations of South and North korea. Overseas Koreans are regionally concentrated in four superpowers: China (2.3 million), the United States (2.1 million), Japan (912,655), and the Commonwealth of Independent States or CIS (created at the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991) (537,889). The international migration and settlement of Koreans was an unintended consequence of unfortunate events...

    • 4 Is There Evidence of Price Substitution in Migration? The Case of Korean Immigration to North America in the 1990s
      (pp. 53-71)

      These are the famous words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. While this New York City beacon still shines, it no longer welcomes the “wretched refuse” or “homeless” to North America. Instead, the millions who continue to come are often the “best and brightest,” and they scarcely ever arrive empty-handed. And yet, this image of the poor migrant wage labourer seeking to pass through “the golden door” of the high-wage factories of the New World continues to colour thinking about international migration. If “differences in net economic advantages, chiefly differences in wages, are the main causes of migration” (Hicks, 1932,...

    • 5 Emerging Gateways in the Atlantic: The Institutional and Family Context of Korean Migration to New Brunswick
      (pp. 72-87)

      Federal and provincial governments have taken a more active approach to the dispersal of immigrants outside the traditional urban magnets of MTV (Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver). A Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) report released in 2001 titled “Towards a more balanced geographic distribution of immigrants” argued that the regionalization of immigrants was a priority for places large and small. This argument has sparked increasing research and scholarly attention on the locational decisions and settlement and integration experiences of immigrants in smaller urban Canada, and we situate our study within this limited yet growing body of work. Using the case of Korean...

    • 6 International Student Experiences of Migration and Consuming Canadian Education
      (pp. 88-112)

      With the rise of the international education industry in Vancouver in recent years, the rapid growth of international students and visitors from South Korea has been phenomenal. While it has been one of the leading source countries of international students since the mid-1990s, little is known about their experiences. For Mr Chang, who was once an international student in Vancouver, learning English and obtaining knowledge of Western culture in Canada were necessary steps to take for his career. He now works for an international trading company and frequently travels between the United States and South Korea. After one year of...

  9. Part II: Immigrant Socio-economic and Social-Psychological Integration

    • 7 Social, Economic, and Demographic Characteristics of Korean Self-Employment in Canada
      (pp. 115-132)

      In recent decades, ethnic entrepreneurship has been a major topic in the study of immigrant adaptation and ethnic relations. Ethnic entrepreneurship is important to immigrants’ economic livelihood, and some studies have even suggested that ethnic entrepreneurship serves as an alternative path to economic achievement among ethnic members and to generate jobs for co-ethnic members (Nee et al., 1994; Portes & Bach, 1985; Sanders & Nee, 1987). Studies have also indicated that large numbers of successful co-ethnic entrepreneurs are important for the development of ethnic communities (W. Li, 1998). They provide financial support for various activities for their communities (Fong, 1994;...

    • 8 Acculturative Stress among Korean Immigrants
      (pp. 133-148)

      Immigrants and refugees are at risk of experiencing psychological distress due to heightened exposure to various stressful events in the country of settlement, including poor labour-market integration, poverty, identity crisis, social stigma, and racial discrimination (Dean & Wilson, 2009; Fitinger & Schwartz, 1981; Fleury, 2007; Kuo, 1984; Hull, 1979; Sue & Morishima, 1982). Acculturative stress refers to perceived internal strain resulting from repeated exposure to stressful events occurring during the transition from one’s culture of origin to a new culture (Berry, 1998; Joiner & Walker, 2002). Acculturative stress has been examined among diverse racial and ethnic groups as well as...

    • 9 Korean-Language Maintenance in Canada
      (pp. 149-170)

      One of the major challenges for immigrant minorities is the maintenance of their heritage language and culture. Immigrant communities often encounter subtractive bilingualism within families and schools (Duff & Li, 2009), which leads to language shifts from heritage languages to dominant languages. Immigrant communities in Canada are no exception, although Canada is well known for its multiculturalism and the multiethnic foundation of its population, and also for its proactive policies and initiatives to deliver heritage-language instruction and encourage the maintenance of diverse cultures.

      This chapter discusses the Korean-Canadian community in the Greater Toronto Area, by examining the practices of language...

    • 10 Ethnic Identity and Self-Concept among Korean-Canadian Youth
      (pp. 171-190)

      What are the factors shaping the self-concept of minority youth? Self-concept involves cognitive and emotional images based on physical, social, and moral views of the self (Demo, 1992; Gecas, 1982; Owens, 2003). Adolescence and young adulthood represent developmental stages in which psychological distress and the incidence of most psychiatric disorders increases sharply (Gore & Aseltine, 2003; Steinberg, 1987); the psychological difficulties experienced during this period can affect health in later life (Lewinsohn et al., 2003). Developing a clear and positive view of oneself is critical for adolescents and young adults from minority groups, particularly when the group has low or...

    • 11 Gendered Experiences of Ethnic Identity among Second-Generation Korean Immigrants in Canada and the United States
      (pp. 191-210)

      During the 1970s, social psychologists and micro-sociologists dominated identity research and generally defined identity as group membership, sameness, and an individual’s identification with a social status, classification, or category (Marshall, 1994). Mead and Cooley theorized identity as static, stable, and as a core, objective sense of self (Cerulo, 1997). Indeed, such perceptions of identity swept and dominated social scientific investigations concerning the nature of self, self-identity, and individual subjectivity. Furthermore, the positivist notion of empirically measuring the intricate complexities of identity with simplistic instruments such as ethnic identity scales were developed, widely used, and quickly credited as comprehensive assessments of...

  10. Part III: Social Roles and Relationships in Korean Families

    • 12 Social Support and Elderly Korean Canadians: A Case Study in Calgary
      (pp. 213-233)

      Late-life immigration presents complex adjustment and resettlement challenges. Many elderly immigrants lack the cultural skills and resources to manage these challenges. In such stressful circumstances, they are more likely to rely on personal networks for physical, emotional, and psychological support (Giles et al., 2004; Kim & Nesslerade, 2003; Wu & Hart, 2002) rather than formal social support services (Statistics Canada, 2004). Therefore, it is important for newer immigrants to develop new social networks within their ethno-cultural communities and in the host society (Cheang, 2002; Cnaan et al., 2005). The increase in the number of elderly immigrants also highlights the importance...

    • 13 Korean Fathers on Canadian Shores
      (pp. 234-258)

      Since the early 1970s, the role that fathers play in children’s lives has gained significant attention. We now recognize that men’s family roles are not limited to only being economic providers but also include other roles such as caregiving and nurturing of children (Lamb, 2004). The quality and quantity of paternal involvement have been important resources for children’s development – their future communication skills (Beatty & Dobos, 1993), emotional maturation (Zimmerman et al., 1995), and social skills (Verschueren & Marcoen, 1999). Fathering roles have also been found to be closely related to men’s well-being (Eggebeen & Knoester, 2001). More recently, researchers...

    • 14 Kirogi Families as Virtual “Families”: Perspectives and Experiences of Kirogi Mothers
      (pp. 259-284)

      Thekirogi, or wild goose, has long been considered a “good” animal by koreans. Because they are believed to keep the same partner for life and diligently take care of their young, wild geese have symbolized the virtues married couples should follow in Korea (Portal, 2000). A pair of carved wooden geese can always be seen at traditional Korean weddings to symbolize the hope that the new couple will stay together forever.

      However, such togetherness is not what defines families referred to askirogi gajok, or “wild-geese families” in Korea. This term, coined by the Korean media in the...

  11. Contributors
    (pp. 285-292)
  12. Index
    (pp. 293-297)