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New Urban Immigrants

New Urban Immigrants: The Korean Community in New York

Copyright Date: 1981
Pages: 346
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  • Book Info
    New Urban Immigrants
    Book Description:

    Insofar as the new immigration is both structurally and functionally distinct from the old immigration of peasants and artisans, the author dispenses with the traditional paradigm of a folk-to-urban transition and focuses instead on such macroscopic features as the internal political and economic problems, social structure, and foreign policy of the homeland; on the international trade, economic structure, and immigration policy of the host country; and on the special qualities of immigrants who are urban, educated, and middle class.

    Originally published in 1981.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5567-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiii)
  5. The Transliteration of Korean Words
    (pp. xiv-xiv)
  6. A Note on Sources
    (pp. xv-2)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 3-14)

    Since World War II, new urban ethnic communities have arisen within America’s major metropolitan areas, reflecting new internal and international migrations. The new immigrants are substantially different from older immigrants to the United States. Especially since the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965, the traditional pattern of the immigrants’ ethnic and racial origins as well as of their social characteristics has changed. New immigrants, reflecting recent changes in United States immigration policy, are largely made up of urban middle-class professionals and skilled blue-collar workers. In addition, the new immigrants come largely from Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean Islands,...

  8. PART I The Korean Immigration to the United States

    • CHAPTER ONE United States Immigration Law as It Affects Koreans
      (pp. 17-47)

      Historically, Koreans have migrated to foreign countries largely out of their sense that Korea is an international pariah—a status that is a product of Korea’s vulnerability to military intervention and to threats of domination by neighboring and distant superpowers. The Korean diaspora in the modern era began with the loss of Korean sovereignty to the Japanese empire at the turn of the twentieth century. During that time, some ten thousand laborers, political refugees, and students took steamships to American shores. But their attempt to construct a Korean community in the new land was severely hampered by white nativists, whose...

    • CHAPTER TWO The Formulation of South Korean Emigration Policy
      (pp. 48-70)

      As in most developing countries, a “population explosion” has emerged as the most urgent problem confronting South Korean society. The population increase is largely attributable to the adoption of Western preventive medical technology; but, as we shall see, it has other causes as well.

      To mitigate this population pressure, the South Korean government in 1962 formulated a specific emigration policy designed to export its surplus people. But few nations have been willing to accept even a limited number of Koreans. Some Latin American nations have admitted Korean emigrants in order to settle their virgin lands; and West Germany, owing to...

    • CHAPTER THREE South Korean Urbanization and Economic Development as They Affect Emigration
      (pp. 71-98)

      As has been noted, population pressure is the general, objective factor pushing South Koreans into the United States. However, it does not sufficiently explain why a large number of South Korean urbanites feel a relative economic deprivation and presume that their opportunities would be greater in the United States. An analysis of the basic mechanisms of South Korean urbanization and industrialization may help us to understand these attitudes. Specifically, we need to analyze the extent to which urbanization in the homeland pushes South Koreans to migrate to the United States, and the extent to which this prior experience of urbanization...

  9. PART II Economic Bases of the Korean Community in the New York Metropolitan Area

    • CHAPTER FOUR Small Business as an Entry Point for Korean Immigrants
      (pp. 101-146)

      In spite of their good education, professional experience, and urban middle-class backgrounds in the old land, a large proportion of Korean immigrants to the New York metropolitan area have entered the American economy by starting small businesses. By opening small businesses in inner cities, they attempt to fulfill the American dream even while native Americans abandon that version of the dream.

      The propensity of Korean immigrants to operate small businesses can be explained in structural terms. Korean immigrants are not immediately capable of entering the mainstream of the American occupational structure—professional, white-collar work—because such work requires proficiency in...

    • CHAPTER FIVE The Mobility of South Korean Medical Professionals
      (pp. 147-178)

      The massive influx of Korean medical professionals into the United States reflects the emphasis placed on skilled immigrants under the Immigration Act of 1965 and demonstrates the selective characteristics of Korean immigration. As a result of this selectivity, Korean medical professionals constitute the core of the emerging Korean community in the New York metropolitan area. They are a primary source of community leadership, and they help substantially in financing community activities and organizations, including churches.

      The occupational mobility from Korean to American medical institutions has occurred in response to both specific pull factors in the United States and push factors...

  10. PART III The Emergence of a Korean Community

    • Introduction: The Korean Community in the New York Metropolitan Area
      (pp. 181-186)

      The Phenomenological Base.By separating themselves both socially and psychologically from the larger American society, Korean immigrants have attempted to achieve a sense of community among themselves. Since they are recent arrivals in a new land, they identify themselves primarily as Koreans and treat the institutions of the larger society as an alien force that is strange, unmanageable, and frequently hostile. Thus, the psychological basis of the Korean community in New York is built upon a widespread acceptance of a dichotomy that Koreans express by the terms “we” versus “they,” orgyoposahoe(our countrymen’s society) versusmigugsahoe(American society). Almost...

    • CHAPTER SIX The Church as a Basis for the Community
      (pp. 187-207)

      As we have noted in chapter one, most Korean immigrants are drawn from the urban middle classes of their homeland, especially from among professionals and white-collar workers. The fact that many of them were Christians, mostly Protestants, plus the influx of Korean ministers as spiritual leaders, largely explains why Korean Protestant churches have flourished in the new land and have become a dominant institution organizing, leading, and “spiritualizing” the activities of Korean immigrants.

      Korean churches are much more than simple sites for religious services. As we shall see, the churches, by assuming multiple, secular roles, are strong focal points for...

    • CHAPTER SEVEN Secondary Associations of the Korean Community
      (pp. 208-226)

      Community secondary associations have emerged as a basic mechanism by which Korean immigrants carry out their normal activities. By secondary associations we mean associations that are primarily oriented toward specific, limited tasks, usually professional and business activities. They are “secondary” in the sense that they are self-consciously organized and rationally operated. Within the precinct of secondary associations Korean immigrants also conduct their social and leisure activities and thus attempt to pursue communal needs. An uncountable number of routine, subcommunity activities take place through secondary associations. Most of these activities are unnoticed and unpublicized in community media; yet they are an...

    • CHAPTER EIGHT The Politics of the Korean Community
      (pp. 227-261)

      We have seen, so far, some basic patterns in the routine and diffuse community activities generated by churches and by secular secondary associations. Another facade of community life can be examined by focusing upon “core” community organizations such as the Korean Consulate General, the Korean Association of Greater New York, and the ethnic media. “Core” organizations attempt to represent and shape communitywide activities: community elections, politics, leadership, and public opinion in its reaction to both the larger society and the homeland. These activities and opinions have made headlines in the two daily community newspapers.

      As we shall see, community politics...

    • CHAPTER NINE Ethnic Media as a Mechanism of Community Integration
      (pp. 262-278)

      As has been noted, in the absence of “natural” ethnic population centers for face-to-face interaction, churches and restaurants are the focal points for major community activities. Korean restaurants are not just places where meals are served, and Korean churches are not just places for delivering religious services. Similarly, the Korean ethnic media go beyond delivering news. By informing geographically dispersed immigrants of community meetings and events, the media are a most powerful means of integrating and sustaining the community. They also maintain and to some extent reinforce Korean nationalism among Korean immigrants, whose ethnic solidarity largely depends upon a strong...

  11. PART IV The Basis of the New York Korean Community in the Historical Development of Korea

    • CHAPTER TEN The Origin of the Character Structure of Korean Immigrants
      (pp. 281-304)

      We have seen how deeply Korean immigrants are committed to socioeconomic mobility both in their business enterprises and in their community activities. Korean immigrants have ventured into almost every kind of retail business. In the process, they have invaded black ghettos and touched off racial conflict. Korean immigrants are willing not only to enter the ghettos but also to toil unceasingly, as their record in taking over fruit and vegetable businesses from Jewish or Italian proprietors indicates. But partly because of a strong tendency to migrate to the suburbs after achieving economic success in the inner city, Korean immigrants have...

  12. Conclusion: The Future of the Korean Community in the New York Metropolitan Area
    (pp. 305-320)

    The question of whether Korean immigrants have actually created a community is the problem of this study. In the classic sense, a community is based on a deep commitment to shared values, a unique culture, and autonomous institutions, within which the members of a purported community can live most of their lives. In this sense, a Korean community in the New York metropolitan area is only in the process of being created. Whether or not such a classic community will ultimately emerge or whether, in the modern world, the realization of such a community is even possible is problematic. Until...

  13. Selective Bibliography
    (pp. 321-324)
  14. Index
    (pp. 325-329)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 330-330)