International Education Journal

WCCES Commission 6 Special Congress Issue


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Coming to America and Becoming American: Narration of Korean Immigrant Young Men

Sheena Choi
Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne

M. Elizabeth Cranley
State University of New York at Buffalo

Joe D. Nichols
Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne



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Rescinding 1920s restrictive immigration laws, the liberal immigration law of the United States in 1965 encouraged a mass migration from Asian countries to America. As a result, the Asian American population increased five fold within two decades, from 1.5 million in 1970 to about 7.3 million in 1990 with Koreans comprising the third largest contribution of Asian immigrant waves.

Researchers have suggested that the trans-Pacific migration of Asians had two dimensions: individual changes of the immigrants whose traditional customs, values, and other elements of lifestyle evolved as a result of immigration, and changes in American society in general as a result of Asian immigrants' settlement. While migration primarily affects the individuals and their immediate families, the receiving society is also impacted in terms of economy, politics, education, culture, social services, and most importantly intergroup relations. This study, which focused on male Korean immigrant youths, explores their perceptions and expectations of their adopted country and their sense of identity.

Korean immigrants, ethnic identity, immigrant youth, Korean identity, education and immigration


Choi, S., Cranley, M.E. and Nichols, J.D. (2001) Coming to America and Becoming American: Narration of Korean Immigrant Young Men. International Education Journal, 2 (5), 47-60.

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