This study focuses on the dynamic and complex nature of ethnic identity development of Korean Americans in Minnesota. It explores the complexity of ethnic identity of four major groups: first immigrant generation, 1.5 generation, Korean adoptees, and U.S. born second generation. It utilizes an ethnographic-informed approach (Wolcott, 2008) to describe the identity development and negotiation process among these four in-groups from an insider's perspective.
The primary research question is: How do Korean Americans define and negotiate their ethnic identity and what are the key factors influencing the development of this identity. Participants were selected to allow maximum representation of diversity complemented by additional selection criteria of education, age, gender, occupation, and previous exposure to both cultures. Data are from multiple sources including in-depth interviews with all participants, their scores on the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), and related observations. Triangulation (Denzin, 2006) is utilized to enhance data quality and Wolcott's (1994b) sequence of description, analysis, and interpretation is used for data transformation.
Findings from this dissertation research can inform theory, policy, and practice in such diverse fields as international education, counseling and cross-cultural psychology, and intercultural/multicultural education with important implications for international adoption practice and policy in the U.S.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2008. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisor: Dr. Gerald W. Fry. 1 computer file (PDF); appendices A-D.
Negotiating ethnic identities: a study of Korean Americans and adoptees in Minnesota.
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