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Korean diaspora communities in Britain and the United States process of community building and notion of homeland - Essay Example

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In the proposed research, I contend the culturalist argument that immigration patterns depend on ascribed features of each ethnicgroup.I argue that while culturalist perspective might be valid in explaining diversity in the degree of acculturation among different groups…
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Korean diaspora communities in Britain and the United States process of community building and notion of homeland
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Download file to see previous pages I intend to explore the differing patterns of immigration adaptation of Korean communities in the U.K. and the U.S., the process of community building and the degree of efforts exerted by these two comparable groups to either maintain or reject traditional customs, and their sense of identity attached to or detached from their homeland or the host country. Absolute majority of existing literature on Korean diaspora is concentrated on Koreans in the U.S. Study of Korean communities in Europe has received surprisingly little attention from academia, and scant volume of existing scholarly work clearly reflects such neglect. According to the statistics released by the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Overseas Korean Foundation, the size of worldwide Korean Diaspora is 7,044,716 as of 2007. China, the U.S. and Japan are the top three recipient countries accounting for more than 80 percent of the total population of overseas Koreans. In Europe, excluding the former USSR countries, there are 111,276 ethnic Koreans and the U.K. is home to the largest Korean population in Europe with some 42,000 people. The fact that there is no existing literature on Korean immigrants in Europe provides a good justification for initiating this study.
However, novelty alone is not a sufficient condition that justifies the significance of one study.

Apart from the literature on Korean diaspora communities, there exists an ample volume of scholarly work comparing the U.K and the U.S. There is an obvious advantage of comparing these two countries as although imperfect, their shared Anglo-Saxon culture, and language can control many endogenous factors that can be problematic while comparing two completely different countries. My intention is not to dismiss the value of existing comparative examinations of Korean communities that have already been done, but to fill in the gap in existing literature by carrying out a research on the group that has not been covered by other researchers before, and uncovering subtle differences - rather than visible differences highlighted in the existing literature on Japan-U.S and China-U.S. comparisons, that exist between the two countries that share many similarities yet subtle differences. Such differences, although they are felt and detected, have not received scholarly attention and therefore exist only in forms of personal anecdotal speculations.

The significance of this potential work should not be limited to the field of diaspora studies in parochial Korean context only. It will also make contribution to studies of ethnic minorities in the U.K. in the British context. Some of the empirical findings will be able to be expanded, generalized and have wider implications in the general diaspora discourse. That is, the ultimate aim of my study, and choosing Korean immigrant group, is a mere strategic choice made by a novice student coming from Korea, hoping for a smoother entry to the field of ethnicity and migration academia in her initial stage. My ambition for possible further research after the completion of doctoral dissertation will expand to other ethnic groups in different countries, and also different migrant groups recently burgeoning in Korea.

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There exists no comprehensive study on Korean communities in the U.K. One book exists on a Korean community in Europe, that examines the Korean immigrants ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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