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table OF

Chapter 1
Up or out
Melting pot
Beyond the melting pot
Cultural pluralism
Rainbow coalition
Across the ideological spectrum
Not a single event but a process

Chapter 2
Korean immigrants infographic
Korean immigrant Interviews
Korean American infographic
Korean American interviews
My goal is to inform the assimilation and the life of immigrants in
America. America is the country of immigrants and I want to look
deeper into their life. The first generation must be confused between
the values of their culture and American culture and take long to
assimilate. After all culture shock and confusion, are they fitted into
American society? Then, how about their next generation? Which
country do they feel belonged? How do they identify themselves?
I wonder if they are satisfied with their life, especially immigrants
who give up their life and start new in this country because I saw
some who like to live here and the other who like to go back to their
country; I want to know what is in their mind. Looking for the truth
about immigrants and their family, I wish it would help readers to
understand immigrants who are members of the society, embrace
them, and build a healthier society together.
People from all over the world come to America for better future;

some say that when you try hard, regardless of your background,

you can achieve whatever you dream in America. I was amazed to

see people from countries who I would never expect to see when

I was in my country, and to see all kinds of races and nationali-

ties live harmoniously in New York; I thought Melting Pot theory

perfectly works. However, the longer I stay, the clearer the reality

becomes. I became aware of invisible walls between people. Im-

migrants were more likely to interact with people from their coun-

try; some people had business only dealing with people from their

countries. Also, based on their experiences, people had good or

bad prejudice against other races or nationalities. Questions rose

inside me; is Melting Pot theory real? is it just an ideal theory

which never works in real world? Is there an better word to ex-

plain the assimilation in the reality?

In this chapter, I will discuss some cultural assimilation theories,

including Melting Pot.

“up” to native cultural standards,
or “out” of the charmed circle
of the national culture.
“Others argue that
the melting pot policy did
not achieve
its declared target.”
Most Americans, both those who favor and those who oppose pre-state community, since the 1930s, had formulated a new target: for example, the persons born in Israel are more similar Many have been unable or unwilling to meet these metrics
assimilation, believe that for immigrants to assimilate, they Hebrew culture, based on the values of Socialist Zionism, and from an economic point of view to their parents than to the (which are not required of titulars). In the case of Estonia,
must abandon their original cultural attributes and conform imposed it on all later arrivals, at the cost of suporessing and rest of the population. The policy is generally not practised the Law on Aliens (1993) went beyond simple disenfran-
entirely to the behaviors and customs of the majority of the erasing these later immigrants’ original culture. today though as there is less need for that - the mass immi- chisement and implied that Russians and other non-citi-
native-born population. In the terminology of the armed forc- gration waves at Israel’s founding have declined. Nevertheless, zens (Jews, Tatars, etc.) may be subject to expulsion in the
es, this represents a model of “up or out”: Either immigrants Proponents of the Melting Pot policy asserted that it applied one fifth of current Israel’s Jewish population have immigrated future.
bring themselves “up” to native cultural standards, or they are to all newcomers to Israel equally; specifically, that Eastern Eu- from former Soviet Union in the last two decades; The Jewish
doomed to live “out” of the charmed circle of the national cul- ropean Jews were pressured to discard their Yiddish-based population includes other minorities such as Haredi Jews; Fur- As a result of this denial of citizenship, the Russian com-
ture. culture as ruthlessly as Mizrahi Jews were pressured to give thermore, 20% of Israel’s population is Arab. These factors as munity complains of loss of jobs (e.g., pharmacists, lawyers,
up the culture which they developed during centuries of life well as others contribute to the rise of pluralism as a common firemen, doctors, policemen and elected politicians are no
Here is the example of Israel on that kind of assimilation. In in Arab and Muslim countries. Critics respond, however, that a principle in the last years. longer careers open to non-citizens regardless of talent or
the early years of the state of Israel the term melting pot, also cultural change effected by a struggle within the Ashkenazi- experience), complications traveling abroad, attempts at
known as “Ingathering of the Exiles”, was not a description of East European community, with younger people voluntarily And here is also an interesting case of the politics of identity in forcible assimilation and other calculated policies intended
a process, but an official governmental doctrine of assimilat- discarding their ancestral culture and formulating a new one, is post-independence Latvia. There has been a spectrum of re- to provoke people into emigrating. Thus many Russians,
ing the Jewish immigrants that originally came from varying not parallel to the subsequent exporting and imposing of this sponses to the presence of Russians in the Newly Independent who form majorities in many areas of these states (upwards
cultures. This was performed on several levels, such as educat- new culture on others, who had no part in formulating it. Also, States of Eurasia, from polite disinterest to seething animos- of 95 percent in some localities), are now stateless people
ing the younger generation, with the parents not having the it was asserted that extirpating the Yiddish culture had been in ity. In the Baltics, Estonia and Latvia in particular, nationalizing without the ability to vote for their leaders or run for office,
final say, and, to mention an anecdotal one, encouraging and itself an act of oppression only compounding what was done states disenfranchised a large number of Russians and other and whose guarantee of basic human rights within their
sometimes forcing the new citizens to adopt a Hebrew name. to the Mizrahi immigrants. non-indigenous nationalities. In order to meet the stringent state of residence remain tenuous. Latvia and Estonia de-
citizenship requirements, Russians and other non-titulars had fend the actions taken against their minority communities
Activists such as the Iraq-born Ella Shohat that an elite which Today the reaction to this doctrine is ambivalent; some say to meet historical residency requirements (typically requir- as an appropriate response to illegal migration conducted
developed in the early 20th Century, out of the earlier-arrived that it was a necessary measure in the founding years, while ing an individual or his or her forebears to have been living in under the aegis of the occupying Soviet Army.
Zionist Pioneers of the Second and Third Aliyas, immigration others claim that it amounted to cultural oppression. Others the state prior to Soviet annexation in 1940), prove language
waves, and who gained a dominant position in the Yishuv, argue that the melting pot policy did not achieve its declared proficiency, make loyalty oaths, and satisfy other benchmarks.
“Here shall they all unite to build
the Republic of Man
and the Kingdom of God.”
In America, however, assimilation has not meant repudiating immigrant culture.
Assimilation, American style has always been much more flexible and accom-
modating and, consequently, much more effective in achieving its purpose—to
allow the United States to preserve its “national unity in the face of the influx of
hordes of persons of scores of different nationalities,” in the words of the sociolo-
gist Henry Fairchild.

A popular way of getting hold of the assimilation idea has been to use a metaphor,
and by far the most popular metaphor has been that of the “melting pot,” a term
introduced in Israel Zangwill’s 1908 play of that name: “There she lies, the great
Melting-Pot—Listen! Can’t you hear the roaring and the bubbling?...Ah, what a
stirring and a seething! Celt and Latin, Slav and Teuton, Greek and Syrian, black
and yellow...Jew and Gentile....East and West, and North and South, the palm and
The theory of melting pot
the pine, the pole and the equator, the crescent and the cross— and then groups from eastern and southern Europe as well as
how the great Alchemist melts and fuses them with his purify- small numbers from the Middle East, China, and Japan. Before
ing flame! Here shall they all unite to build the Republic of Man the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the American public gen-
and the Kingdom of God.” erally took it for granted that the constant flow of newcomers

has been criticised

from abroad, mainly Europe, brought strength and prosperity
The term melting pot refers to the idea that societies formed to the country. The metaphor of the “melting pot” symbolized
by immigrant cultures, religions, end ethnic groups, will pro- the mystical potency of the great democracy, whereby people
duce new hybrid social and cultural forms. The notion comes from every corner of the earth were fused into a harmonious
from the pot in which metals are melted at great heat, melding and admirable blend. A decline in immigration from north-

both as unrealistic
together into new compound, with great strength and other western Europe and concerns over the problems of assimilat-
combined advantages. In comparison with assimilation, it im- ing so many people from other areas prompted the passage in
plies the ability of new or subordinate groups to affect the val- the 1920’s legislation restricting immigration, one of the mea-
ues of the dominant group. Sometimes it is referred to as amal- sures reflecting official racism.

and racist.
gamation, in the opposition to both assimilation and pluralism.
The melting pot reality was limited only to intermixing between
Although the term melting pot may be applied to many coun- Europeans with a strong emphasis on the Anglo-Saxon culture
tries in the world, such as Brazil, Bangladesh or even France, while the input of minority cultures was only minor. Non-white
mostly referring to increased level of mixed race and culture, it Americans were for centuries not regarded by most white
is predominantly used with reference to USA and creation of Americans as equal citizens and suitable marriage partners.
the American nation, as a distinct “new breed of people” amal-
gamated from many various groups of immigrants. As such it The mixing of whites and blacks, resulting in multiracial chil-
is closely linked to the process of Americanisation. The theory dren, for which the term “miscegenation” was coined in 1863, Did therefore Non-white Americans not fit into melting pot non-whites. This trend towards greater acceptance of ethnic
of melting pot has been criticised both as unrealistic and rac- was a taboo, and most whites opposed marriages between discourses at all. Intermarriage between Anglo-Americans and and racial “minorities” by “WASPs” (Anglo-Americans and
ist, because it focused on the Western heritage and excluded whites and blacks. In many states, marriage between whites white immigrant groups was acceptable as part of the melt- other, mainly Protestant Americans of Northern European de-
non-European immigrants. Also, despite its proclaimed “melt- and non-whites was even prohibited by state law through anti- ing pot narrative. But when the term was first popularized in scent) was first evident in popular culture.
ing” character its results have been assimilationist. miscegenation laws. the early twentieth century, most whites did not want to ac-
cept non-whites, and especially African-Americans, as equal Since the successes of the American Civil Rights Movement
The history of the melting pot theory can be traced back to citizens in America’s melting pot society. Native Americans in and the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act
1782 when J. Hector de Crevecoeur, a French settler in New the United States enrolled in tribes did not have US citizenship of 1965, which allowed for a massive increase in immigration
York, envisioned the United States not only as land of opportu- until the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, and were subjected to from Latin America and Asia, intermarriage between white
nity but as a society where individuals of all nations are melted government policies of enforced cultural assimilation, which and non-white Americans has been increasing. The taboo on
into a new race of men, whose labours and posterity will one was termed “Americanization.” marriage between whites and African Americans also appears
day cause changes in the world (Parrillo, 1997). The new nation to be fading. In 2000, the rate of black-white marriage was
welcomed virtually all immigrants from Europe in the belief Since the Second World War, the idea of the melting pot has greater than the rate of Jewish-Gentile marriage (between
that the United States would become, at least for whites, the become racially inclusive in the United States, gradually ex- Jewish Americans and other whites) in 1940.
“melting pot” of the world. This idea was adopted by the histo- tending also to acceptance of marriage between whites and
rian Frederick Jackson Turner (1893) who updated it with the
frontier thesis. Turner believed that the challenge of frontier
life was the country´s most crucial force, allowing Europeans
to be “Americanised” by the wilderness (Takaki, 1993). A ma-
jor influx of immigrants occurred mainly after the 1830s, when
large numbers of British, Irish, and Germans began entering,
to be joined after the Civil War by streams of Scandinavians
“The point about the
melting pot...
is that it did not happen.”

Critics of the metaphor have spanned the ideological spectrum and mounted
several different lines of attack on it. Empiricists submitted evidence that the
melting pot wasn’t working as predicted and concluded, as did Nathan Glazer
and Daniel Patrick Moynihan in Beyond the Melting Pot (1963), “The point about
the melting pot...is that it did not happen.” Other critics rejected the second
corollary of the metaphor—that natives were changed by it, too—and saw no
reason that native Americans should give up any part of their cultural attributes
to “melt” into the alloy. If true assimilation were to occur, the criticism went,
immigrants would have to abandon all their cultural baggage and conform to
American ways. It is the immigrant, said Fairchild, representing the melting pot concept have been criticised as idealistic and ing of cultures the ultimate result of the American variant of
the views of many Americans, “who must undergo the entire racist as they completely excluded non-European immigrants, melting pot happened to be the culture of white Anglo Saxon
transformation; the true member of the American nationality is often also East and South Europeans. The melting pot real- men with minimum impact of other minority cultures. More-

The concept of
not called upon to change in the least.” ity was limited only to intermixing between Europeans with a over, the assumption that culture is a fixed construct is flawed.
strong emphasis on the Anglo-Saxon culture while the input of Culture should be defined more broadly as the way one ap-
A third strain of criticism was first voiced by sociologist Horace minority cultures was only minor. Some theorists developed proaches life and makes sense of it. Group’s beliefs are deter-

melting pot should also

Kallen in the early part of this century. Among the most prolific a theory of the triple melting pot arguing that intermarriage mined by conditions and so culture is a continuous process
American scholars of ethnicity, Kallen argued that it was not was occurring between various nationalities but only within of change and its boundaries are always porous. In a racist
only unrealistic but cruel and harmful to force new immigrants the three major religious groupings: Protestant, Catholic, and discourse, however the culture needs to be seen as a prede-

entail mixing of
to shed their familiar, lifelong cultural attributes as the price of Jewish. Milton Gordon and Henry Pratt Fairchild proposed the termined and rigid phenomenon that would be appropriate for
admission to American society. In place of the melting pot, he assimilation theory as an alternative to the melting pot one replacing the no longer acceptable concept of race in order to
called for “cultural pluralism.” In Kallen’s words, national policy (Parrillo, 1997). perpetuate inequalities. Many multicultural initiatives aiming at

various races,
should “seek to provide conditions under which each [group] integration/ inclusion of minorities, while following the melting
might attain the cultural perfection that is proper to its kind.” Many current proponents of the melting pot are inspired by pot ideal, often result in assimilationist and racist outcomes.
the “English only” movement with exclusive emphasis on Melting pot would assume learning about other cultures in
One of the early critiques of the melting pot idea was Louis Western heritage and argument against pluralism and accom- order to enhance understanding, mixing, and mutual enrich-

not only cultures. Adamic, novelist and journalist who wrote about the experi-
ence of American immigrants in the early 1900s and about
modation and related policies, such as bilingual education. ment; in practice it often tends to ignore similarities of differ-
ent “races” as it does not allow to include them.
what he called the failure of the American melting pot in Ideally the concept of melting pot should also entail mixing of
Laughing in the Jungle (1932). Both the frontier thesis and various “races”, not only “cultures”. While promoting the mix-
Immigrants to the U.S.
should not “melt”
into a common
national ethnic alloy.

Cultural pluralism rejects melting-pot assimilationism not on empirical

grounds, but on ideological ones. Kallen and his followers believed that immi-

grants to the United States should not “melt” into a common national ethnic al-
loy but, rather, should steadfastly hang on to their cultural ethnicity and band
together for social and political purposes even after generations of residence
in the United States. As such, cultural pluralism is not an alternative theory of
assimilation; it is a theory opposed to assimilation.

Cultural pluralism is, in fact, the philosophical antecedent of modern multi-

culturalism—what I call “ethnic federalism”: official recognition of distinct, es-
sentially fixed ethnic groups and the doling out of resources based on mem-
bership in an ethnic group. Ethnic federalism explicitly rejects the notion of a
transcendent American identity, the old idea that out of ethnic diversity there
would emerge a single, culturally unified people. Instead, the United States is
to be viewed as a vast ethnic federation—Canada’s Anglo-French arrange-
ment, raised to the nth power. Viewing ethnic Americans as members of a fed-
eration rather than a union, ethnic federalism, a.k.a. multiculturalism, asserts
that ethnic Americans have the right to proportional representation in matters
of power and privilege, the right to demand that their “native” culture and pu-
tative ethnic ancestors be accorded recognition and respect, and the right to
function in their “native” language (even if it is not the language of their birth
or they never learned to speak it), not just at home but in the public realm.

Ethnic federalism is at all times an ideology of ethnic grievance and inevitably

leads to and justifies ethnic conflict. All the nations that have ever embraced
it, from Yugoslavia to Lebanon, from Belgium to Canada, have had to live with
perpetual ethnic discord.
“Life can be see
through many windows,
none of them clear or
opaque, less or more
distorting than the others.”

Kallen’s views, however, stop significantly short of contempo- however, and Kallen called for a “Federal republic,” a “democ- and social institutions of a country” (p. 252). Thus while Kal- black pride and offered an aesthetically and spiritually barren
rary multiculturalism in their demands on the larger “native” racy of nationalities, cooperating voluntarily and autonomous- len’s vision served to strengthen the dominance of experts in industrial capitalist America African-American wisdom and
American society. For Kallen, cultural pluralism was a defen- ly in the enterprise of self-realization through the perfection of the public sphere of work and politics, Bourne called for a “Be- beauty instead of the ashes of materialism.
sive strategy for “unassimilable” immigrant ethnic groups that men according to their kind” (p. 220). loved Community” that placed democratic participation and
required no accommodation by the larger society. Contem- a discussion of values at the very center of public life (p. 264). During the second half of the twentieth century, cultural plural-
porary multiculturalists, on the other hand, by making cultural Similarly Bourne’s 1916 essay “Transnational America” remind- ist thought in the United States was increasingly eclipsed by
pluralism the basis of ethnic federalism, demand certain ethnic ed dominant Anglo-Saxons that even the early colonists “did Animated by these somewhat contradictory ideals, cultural the lingering commitment of liberal intellectuals to the Marxist
rights and concessions. By emphasizing the failure of assimila- not come to be assimilated in an American melting-pot. They pluralism constituted a protean movement in the first half of notion of culture as mere superstructure or as determined by
tion, multiculturalists hope to provide intellectual and political did not come to adopt the culture of the American Indian” (p. the twentieth century in the United States. Particularly impor- the more fundamental struggle for power. Nevertheless, mi-
support for their policies. 249). Bourne also called for a “cosmopolitan federation of na- tant achievements include the efforts of John Collier (1884– nority groups continue to struggle to achieve cultural democ-
tional colonies” within which ethnic groups “merge but they 1968) as commissioner of Indian Affairs during the administra- racy in the early twenty-first century’s multicultural societies.
The pluralistic defense of cultural diversity typical of Vico, do not fuse” (pp. 258, 255). Thus an immigrant would be both tion of Franklin Roosevelt to overturn the U.S. government’s As the Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor, following Herder,
Herder, and James has grown more powerful in the modern a Serb and an American or both a German and an American , policy of assimilation of the American Indian. Due to Collier’s has argued, being true to oneself requires an acknowledgment
world as ethnic and racial groups within multiethnic societies for example, as difference harmonized with common ground. efforts, Native Americans regained the right to their cultures, by both self and other of the indispensable role of culture in
have increasingly sought to exercise political power and re- lands, and tribal political institutions after decades of denial. the creation of identity. Because culture imparts those par-
tain their cultural heritage in the face of demands for cultural Although both men challenged what was taken by most Ang- The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s also reflected the prin- ticular aspects—religion, language, traditions—that make an
conformity. In the United States the pragmatists Horace Meyer lo-Saxons to be the absolute truth regarding what it meant to ciples of cultural pluralism. Alain Leroy Locke (1886–1954), individual or group unique, the forced assimilation of minori-
Kallen (1882–1974) and Randolph Silliman Bourne (1886–1918) be an American, Bourne went well beyond Kallen’s demand America’s first African-American Rhodes scholar and a former ties to the hegemonic standard of identity by a majority group
supplied a spirited defense of diversity during World War I. Al- for freedom defined simply as a private right to be different. student of William James, furnished the guiding vision of the constitutes a form of oppression and violence of the spirit. This
though the American political tradition of classical liberalism Influenced by the Enlightenment, Kallen assigned ethnicity to Renaissance and helped to achieve Bourne’s “beloved com- recognition has led in turn to efforts to expand the political
championed individual rights, it failed to extend those rights private life while he placed the public world in the hands of munity.” Finding beauty within himself, through a rebirth of theory of liberalism to include not only a defense of identical
to include the right to be culturally different. Liberal rights had technical experts. Bourne, on the other hand, urged a nation- black art, the “new Negro” would thereby achieve the moral universal rights but the right of groups to cultural differences
wrongly assumed “that men are men merely, as like as marbles al collaboration in the construction of a new national culture dignity suited to a “collaborator and participant in American as well. Cultural pluralists therefore seek to supplant cultural
and destined under uniformity of conditions to uniformity of by all racial and ethnic groups in terms reminiscent of Herder. civilization” (Locke, 1925, p. 5). Langston Hughes, Zora Neale monism or absolutism with pluralism by reconciling commu-
spirit,” Kallen wrote in “Democracy versus the Melting Pot” (p. Contrarily then, Bourne’s freedom meant “a democratic coop- Hurston, Claude Mackay, Jean Toomer, and others awakened nity with diversity in the modern world.
193). The right to cultural identity was essential to selfhood, eration in determining the ideals and purposes and industrial
“We are more than a melting pot;
we are a kaleidoscope.”
The multiculturalists’ rejection of the melting pot idea is seen Some countries have official policies of multiculturalism aimed against special treatment that might violate the principal of able, paradoxical or even desirable. Nation states that, in the
in the metaphors they propose in its place. Civil rights activ- at promoting social cohesion by recognizing distinct groups equality before the law, and emphasize that citizenship de- case of many European nations, would previously have been
ist Jesse Jackson suggested that Americans are members of within a society and allowing those groups to celebrate and notes an tacit agreement to abide by the laws, customs and synonymous with a distinctive cultural identity of their own,
a “rainbow coalition.” Former New York Mayor David Dinkins maintain their cultures or cultural identities. Many critics of accepted value system of nation, especially in regards to those lose out to enforced multiculturalism and that this ultimately
saw his constituents constituting a “gorgeous mosaic.” Former deliberated, government-instituted policies believe they arti- who chose to emigrate from abroad to join their newly ad- erodes the host nations distinct culture.
Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm characterized America’s ficially perpetuate social divisions, damaging the social cohe- opted society.
ethnic groups as being like ingredients in a “salad bowl.” Bar- sion of the nation-state. Other critics argue that multiculturalism leads directly to re-
bara Jordan, recent chairperson of the U.S. Commission on Advocates of multiculturalism counter these objections by strictions in the rights and freedoms for certain groups and
Immigration Reform, said: “We are more than a melting-pot; However, proponents of multicultural programs argue that so- claiming that 1) the issue is not cultural relativism but the white- that as such, it is bad for democracy, undemocratic and against
we are a kaleidoscope.” cial cohesion has too often been achieved either by explicit washing of history, i.e., that history has been written to play up universal human rights. For instance, Susan Moller Okin wrote
discrimination against cultural minority groups, for example, the contributions of the dominant group and to downplay the, about this question in her essay “Is Multiculturalism Bad for
These counter-metaphors all share a common premise: that laws that restrict the freedoms of certain groups, or by an im- often significant, contributions of minority groups; 2) with re- Women?” (1999).
ethnic groups in the United States may live side by side har- plicit discrimination which rejects other cultural forms as being gards to cultural/artistic contributions, the claim that minority
moniously, but on two conditions that overturn both assump- without value, for example, school programs that never teach culture is inferior is often based less on aesthetic quality than Harvard professor of political science Robert D. Putnam con-
tions of the melting-pot metaphor. First, immigrants (and the historic and artistic contributions of minorities. on politically-motivated criteria; 3) the issue is often not legal ducted a nearly decade long study how multiculturalism af-
black Americans) should never have to (or maybe should not equality but simply recognition that minorities do exist in the fects social trust. He surveyed 26,200 people in 40 American
even want to) give up any of their original cultural attributes. Critics of multiculturalism often charge multiculturalists with culture; and 4) many minority groups did not immigrate but communities, finding that when the data were adjusted for
And second, there never can or will be a single unified national practicing cultural relativism such as judging customs and were either imported or previously living on the land. class, income and other factors, the more racially diverse a
identity that all Americans can relate to. These two principles practices of other cultures in their contexts, often confusing community is, the greater the loss of trust. People in diverse
are the foundations of cultural pluralism, the antithesis of as- this with moral relativism (lack of an idea of right and wrong), Criticism of multiculturalism often debates whether the multi- communities “don’t trust the local mayor, they don’t trust the
similationism. and they emphasize that not all cultural values and practices cultural ideal of benignly co-existing cultures that interrelate local paper, they don’t trust other people and they don’t trust
must be held in equal regard in every given society. They warn and influence one another, and yet remain distinct, is sustain- institutions,” writes Putnam.
Multiculturalism is the acceptance or promotion of multiple
ethnic cultures, for practical reasons and/or for the sake of di-
versity and applied to the demographic make-up of a specific

proponents of
place, usually at the organizational level, e.g. schools, busi-
nesses, neighborhoods, cities or nations. In this context, mul-
ticulturalists advocate extending equitable status to distinct
ethnic and religious groups without promoting any specific
ethnic, religious, and/or cultural community values as central.
multicultural programs often
charge multiculturalists
with practicing
cultural relativism.
While all these metaphors—including the melting pot—are col- On the other hand, behind their unexceptionable blandness,
orful ways of representing assimilation, they don’t go far in giv- the antithetical cultural pluralist metaphors are profoundly in-
ing one an accurate understanding of what assimilation is re- sidious. By suggesting that the product of assimilation is mere
ally about. For example, across the ideological spectrum, they ethnic coexistence without integration, they undermine the
all invoke some external, impersonal assimilating agent. Who, objectives of assimilation, even if they appear more realistic.

exactly, is the “great alchemist” of the melting pot? What force Is assimilation only about diverse ethnic groups sharing the
tosses the salad or pieces together the mosaic? By picturing same national space? That much can be said for any multieth-
assimilation as an impersonal, automatic process and thus nic society. If the ethnic greens of the salad or the fragments
placing it beyond analysis, the metaphors fail to illuminate its of the mosaic do not interact and identify with each other, no
most important secrets. Assimilation, if it is to succeed, must meaningful assimilation is taking place.

be a voluntary process, by both the assimilating immigrants
and the assimilated-to natives. Assimilation is a human accom- Melting Pot came under fire when it became apparent that the
modation, not a mechanical production. mainstream public had no intention of “melting” with certain
“other” races and cultures. Subsequently, American immigra-
The metaphors also mislead as to the purposes of assimilation. tion policies became restrictive based on race, an example
The melting pot is supposed to turn out an undifferentiated of state sponsored racism intended towards reducing the di-
alloy—a uniform, ethnically neutral, American protoperson. versity of the melting pot (Laubeová). Much has been written

By being compelling,
Critics have long pointed out that this idea is far-fetched. But about the so-called “myth” of the melting pot theory (Frey;
is it even desirable? And if it is desirable, does it really foster Booth). However, the metaphor has persisted and epitomizes

idealistic, the melting-pot idea has

a shared national identity? The greatest failing of the melting- what some Americans see as an ideal model for this country.
pot metaphor is that it overreaches. It exaggerates the degree
to which immigrants’ ethnicity is likely to be extinguished by The melting pot theory, also referred to as cultural assimilation,

helped to discredit
exposure to American society and it exaggerates the need to revolves around the analogy that “the ingredients in the pot
extinguish ethnicity. By being too compelling, too idealistic, (people of different cultures and religions) are combined so

the assimilation paradigm.

the melting-pot idea has inadvertently helped to discredit the as to lose their discrete identities and yield a final product of
very assimilation paradigm it was meant to celebrate. uniform consistency and flavor, which is quite different from
“ signals the proliferation
of diversity. Rather than
enforced conformity,
it makes possible
a greater degree of
individual autonomy .”

the original inputs.” This idea differs from other analogies, par- influences of ethnic groups retaining their distinctive cultural maintain distinct cultural attributes. In the modern-day discus- On the other hand, multiculturalism has its own set of weak
ticularly the salad bowl analogy where the ingredients are en- attributes and thereby forging a new, stronger America due sion, coercive assimilation theories often take on a decidedly points that need further evaluation and revision. The melt-
couraged to retain their cultural identities, thus retaining their to their divergent cultural contributions was not given much racist overtone (Laubeova), with many assimilation proponents ing pot and the tossed salad metaphors are both inherently
“integrity and flavor” while contributing to a tasty and nutri- weight by early researchers (Kivisto 152-154). urging Americentric policies such as English-only education, flawed, at least sofar in their practical application. On this,
tious salad. Yet another food analogy is that of the ethnic stew, strict immigration policies, stipulations of nationalistic criteria there are many social theorists who are writing about a com-
where there is a level of compromise between integration and It should be noted in this discussion that earlier in American for citizenship, and eliminating programs aimed at helping mi- promise between the melting pot approach and the tossed
cultural distinctiveness. sociology history, some of these terms took on distinctly dif- norities (Booth; Hayworth). This issue over terminology and salad analogy. One such new theory is the aforementioned
ferent flavours. This ambiguity of terminology contributes to social metaphors is vitally important because America stands “ethnic stew” from Laura Laubeova, who hopes that such an
What these food analogies have in common is an appreciation confusion in the current discourse. For instance, in 1901, Sarah at a critical ideological turning point. Cultural geographers analogy can help bridge the gap between the two concepts to
that each of these ethnicities has something to contribute to Simons is quoted as making this conclusion with regards to as- describe our current society as experiencing a “multicultural create “a sort of pan-Hungarian goulash where the pieces of
the society as a whole. By comparing ethnic and/or cultural similation: In brief, the function of assimilation is the establish- backlash” that will drastically affect immigration legislation different kinds of meat still keep their solid structure.” Indeed,
groups to ingredients in a recipe, we start with the assumption ment of homogeneity within the group; but this does not mean and ethnic studies and possibly lead us towards a more re- some sort of compromise between full assimilation and multi-
that each ingredient is important and the final product would that all variation shall be crushed out. In vital matters, such strictive and intolerant nation (Mitchell 641). The current dis- culturalism will be necessary to retain our multiethnic flavour
not be the same if some distinct ingredient were missing. How- as language, ideals of government, law, and education, uni- course about cultural assimilation seeks to relegate incongru- while building a cohesive society.
ever, in the melting pot analogy, this premise is the least ap- formity shall prevail; in personal matters of religion and habits ent cultural attributes to the private arena so as not to disturb
parent and can be criticized for its dismissively simplistic social of life, however, individuality shall be allowed free play. Thus, the dominant society (Mitchell 642), and instead of promoting The bottom line is that people are people, not food. Despite
theories. This is one appropriate evaluation of the weaknesses the spread of “consciousness of kind” must be accompanied a tolerance of diversity, we see the modern-day assimilation the variety of food metaphors at our disposal, the power of
of the melting pot and the tossed salad analogies: by the spread of consciousness of individuality (qtd. in Kivsito proponents urging strict deportation and increasingly restric- this rhetoric is limited and wears thin during pragmatic ap-
153). tive immigration policies in order to protect socalled American plication. Food metaphors can be useful, but we do not need
In the case of the melting pot the aim is that all cultures be- values (Hayworth). The stance of many coercive assimilation more vague metaphors that lead to interpretive disparities.
come reflected in one common culture, however this is gen- Furthermore, according to Peter Kivisto’s interpretation of proponents smacks of racist overtones and is based on ap- What we need is an entirely new dialogue on the subject, one
erally the culture of the dominant group - I thought this was Chicago School sociologist Robert E. Park’s writings on the prehension of “others” and exclusionary thinking more than it that completely and clearly redefines America’s objective for
mixed vegetable soup but I can only taste tomato. In the case subject, theories on assimilation originally differed from the is based on preservation of core values. a multiethnic society that allows for diversity, not just in the
of the salad bowl, cultural groups should exist separately and melting pot fusion theory in that assimilation “signals the prolif- private realm, but also in the public sphere. We do not need
maintain their practices and institutions, however, Where is the eration of diversity. Rather than enforced conformity, it makes The implications of this type of proposed legislation drives fear a coercive assimilation program that reverts back to outdated
dressing to cover it all? possible a greater degree of individual autonomy” and creates into minority groups seeking to preserve their cultural heri- nationalistic paranoia. We need an inclusive working social
“a cultural climate that is predicated by pluralism” whereby this tage against a tide of Americentric propaganda. Ultimately, theory that unites the disparate enclaves of this society into
This criticism that the melting pot produces a society that pri- “cultural pluralism (or multiculturalism) can coexist with assimi- those seeking to enact coercive assimilation policies threaten a manageable entity moving in the same collective direction.
marily reflects the dominant culture instead of fusing into a lation” (156-157). The idea that a multiethnic society could at- to fracture the common ground of the American dream that Whether Americans will ever eventually be reformed into what
completely new entity is reiterated by other sociologists, an- tain an interdependent cohesion based on national solidarity they claim to be focused on protecting. Minority groups are Israel Zangwill called “a fusion of all races” remains to be seen
thropologists, and cultural geographers as “Anglo-conformity” while maintaining distinct cultural histories not dependent on nearing such numbers in this country that it is projected that (Zangwill). Right now, what America needs is a definitive social
(Kivisto 151). This type of assimilation was seen as working like like-minded homogeneity was thus proposed back in the early the word “minority” will soon become obsolete. Enacting ex- direction that leans away from coercive assimilation dogma
a one-way street and it was viewed as something that depend- 1900’s (Kivisto 161). clusionary policies will only fracture an already delicate social and towards a truly inclusive national identity. True American
ed primarily on the cooperativeness of immigrants to be reori- framework and potentially further disenfranchise the very dreamers should not settle for anything less.
ented towards the dominant culture. The idea that the domi- However, it is vital to recognize that coercive assimilation the- groups America needs for inclusive unity.
nant culture would be infused with new energy through the orists often do not support the idea that immigrants should
EVENT BUT Perhaps a new assimilation metaphor should be introduced—
one that depends not on a mechanical process like the melting
pot but on human dynamics. Assimilation might be viewed as
avocational interests, and have any racial or other personal at-
tributes. Once they undergo conversion, they are eagerly wel-
comed into the fellowship of believers. They have become part

more akin to religious conversion than anything else. In the of “us” rather than “them.” This is undoubtedly what writer G.K.
terms of this metaphor, the immigrant is the convert, American Chesterton had in mind when he said: “America is a nation with
society is the religious order being joined, and assimilation is the soul of a church.”
the process by which the conversion takes place. Just as there
are many motives for people to immigrate, so are there many In the end, however, no metaphor can do justice to the
motives for them to change their religion: spiritual, practical achievements and principles of assimilation, American style.

“long-term processes that

(marrying a person of another faith), and materialistic (joining As numerous sociologists have shown, assimilation is not a
some churches can lead to jobs or subsidized housing). But single event, but a process. In 1930 Robert Park observed, “As-
whatever the motivation, conversion usually involves the con- similation is the name given to the process or processes by

have whittled away

sistent application of certain principles. Conversion is a mutual which peoples of diverse racial origins and different cultural
decision requiring affirmation by both the convert and the re- heritages, occupying a common territory, achieve a cultural
ligious order he or she wishes to join. Converts are expected solidarity sufficient at least to sustain a national existence.”
in most (but not all) cases to renounce their old religions. But More recently, Richard Alba defined assimilation as “long-term

at the social foundations

converts do not have to change their behavior in any respects processes that have whittled away at the social foundations
other than those that relate to the new religion. They are ex- of ethnic distinctions.” But assimilation is more complex than

of ethnic distinctions.”
pected only to believe in its theological principles, observe its that because it is a process of numerous dimensions. Not all
rituals and holidays, and live by its moral precepts. Beyond immigrants and ethnic groups assimilate in exactly the same
that, they can be rich or poor, practice any trade, pursue any way or at the same speed.
In Assimilation in American Life (1964), Milton Gordon suggested in the political process. Fourth, and most essential, immigrants

Having immigrants identify

that there is a typology, or hierarchy, of assimilation, thus must identify themselves as Americans, placing that identifi-
capturing some of the key steps that immigrants and ethnic cation ahead of any associated with their birthplace or ethnic
groups go through as their assimilation--their cultural solidar- homeland, and their willingness to do so must be reciprocated

as Americans is,
ity with native-born Americans, in Park’s words--becomes by the warm embrace of native Americans.
more complete.
The speed and thoroughness with which individual immigrants
First, and perhaps foremost, natives and immigrants must ac- conform to these criteria vary, but each dimension is critical

of course, the whole point

cord each other legitimacy. That is, each group must believe and interdependent with the others. The absence of legitima-
the other has a legitimate right to be in the United States and cy breeds ethnic conflict between natives and immigrants and
that its members are entitled to pursue, by all legal means, their among members of different ethnic groups. The absence of

of assimilation.
livelihood and happiness as they see fit. Second, immigrants competence keeps immigrants from being economically and
must have competence to function effectively in American socially integrated into the larger society and breeds alienation
workplaces and in all the normal American social settings. Im- among the immigrants and resentment of their dependence
migrants are expected to seize economic opportunities and among natives. The absence of civic responsibility keeps im-
to participate, at some level, in the social life of American so- migrants from being involved in many crucial decisions that af-
ciety, and natives must not get in their way. Third, immigrants fect their lives and further contributes to their alienation. Hav-
must be encouraged to exercise civic responsibility, minimally ing immigrants identify as Americans is, of course, the whole
by being law-abiding members of American society, respect- point of assimilation, but such identification depends heavily
ful of their fellow citizens, and optimally as active participants on the fulfillment of the other three criteria.
Since I cover theories in chapter one, I will focus on practical side

in this chapter; the life of immigrants. These will be covered; if

immigrants are succesfully assimilated, how is the life of an im-

migrant and his/her America-born children, and how much they

are satisfied with every aspects of their life. The information was

collected by survey and interviews. When it comes to survey and

interview, I felt it would make it easier and faster to get responds

from a certain group of people because I didn’t have enough time

to get answers from every immigrant in New York. I chose Korean

immigrants and their America born children because Koreans are

one of the largest minority and they have been immigrating into

the United States over 100years. Therefore, I believe their opin-

ions might be agreed by other immigrants.

KOREAN IMMIGRANT How often do you have homesick? Did you expect better quality of life when you decided to immigrate?

never once a while often always
19% 52% 19% 10%
Where were your children born?

Did you feel satisfied with your life in Korea? When you retire, do you want to go back to Korea?

Korea The U.S.

38% 62% Yes
78% No
No 61%
Do you want them to know Korean culture? 22%

No little bit pretty much a lot

4% 11% 50%

Who do you want them to date and/or marry?

Anyone they like to date
Korean persons preferred for dates Do you keep in touch with friends in Korea? Do you have close friends in the States who you know from Korea?
Anyone they like to marry 오랜만 세요 여보
우리 이야 그동 세요 야
딸 안
뒷바라 은 올해 대 잘 지냈
겠어 지하느라고 학들어갔어
Korean persons preferred for marriage 넌 등
연락이 잘 지내고 골이 휘

한국오 없어 왜이 냐? 통
면연 렇
락해라 게
No ... 67%
Do/Did you send them to Korean school after regular school?

Do you have close friends who don’t speak Korean?

Yes No No

50% 50% 33%

Yes No
44% 56%
Sungsook Joo, 53, housewife
Q. How long have you lived in America? Why did you immigrate?
A. I came here on February 1982. I’ve been living for 28years. I came with
my husband for better life but I also wanted to continue my study.

Q. What was the hardest part when you first got here and assimilated into
new environment?
A. It was about my self-esteem. I was in a certain position in Korea, but I
had to start new here because even though I had ability to do it, my English
wasn’t good enought to get the job. That made me frustrated.

Q. When do you feel you are americanized?

A. Even when I was in Korea, I was a bit different from others. I am open-
minded and very active. So when I came here, I felt more comfortable.
Except for language barrier.

Q. Are there more americanized behaviors or views of yours?

A. I got more patience. Everything goes so fast in Korea, and people
repetidly say, “fast! fast! fast!” You can just walk into any doctor’s office
without appointment, your package get delivered within a day. Here it is
different. I had to learn to wait patiently.

Q. On the other hand, do you still have any Korean habit or thinking?
A.I don’t want to keep any Korean thoughts. I don’t think most of them are
realistic or reasonable.

Q. Do you think you don’t know America fully yet?

A. No. I gave birth to two children and raised them here. I went through
a lot of things and I don’t think there are more to learn about America.

Q. Have you experienced any discrimination as an immigrant?

A. Even though my children were raised in same environment with other
white kids, my kids were always considered as immigrants just because of
skin color.

Q. Do you think you are successfully assimilated and your Korean cultural
background contribute to American culture?
A. I started my second life here and I feel like this is my country. I don’t think
IMMIGRATION my cultural background contiributed to American culture.

Q. What does America mean to you?

A. I learned a lot in America. It made me mature.
Who decided to immigrate? How old are you?

Q. Would you immigrate to America again, if you can go back to past?

A. yes. But this time maybe Canada?


you and/or your spouse your parents older generation 20s 30s 40s 50s 60s
56% 38% 6% 10% 13% 40% 33% 3%
Seungwoo Hong, 53, entrepreneur
Q. How long have you lived in America? Why did you immigrate?
A. I have lived here for 24 years. When I was a teenager, I watched many
American movies. What I got about American life from those movies was
that a man had a decent job, a beautiful wife, children, a dog, and a house
with backyard. Everyone looked happy and everything seemed perfect.
Since then, I started dreaming of my own American Dream.

Q. What was the hardest part when you first got here and assimilated
into new environment?
A. Language barrier and cultural difference were the hardest part.
When I was in Korea, I worked in a chemical company. I had meetings with
American buyers and had a problem with communication. They couldn’t
understand my pronunciation and I couldn’t understand their English. I
had the problem for long time when I settled here too.
As for cultural difference, Americans were not familiar with Asian culture
24 years ago. I was embarrassed to look into eyes of people I talked to,
while they tried to look at my eyes.
Also I tried to be polite and consider the person’s feeling when I refused
someone’ request. However, for Americans turning someone down seemed
very easy and nothing.

Q. When do you feel you are americanized?

A. When I talk to Koreans who just got off the boat, I feel different. And
when I sneeze I say to excuse me and cover my mouth with my sleeve,
while Korean men sneeze in the air.

Q. Are there more americanized behaviors or views of yours?

A. I form a line and wait for my turn patiently. And I have learned how to
get along with other races.

Q. On the other hand, do you still have any Korean habit or thinking?
A. I have very Korean, patriarchal thoughts. As a father, I believe that I
should support my family, take care of my parents, and be a good example
for my son. And I expect respects back from my family.

Q. Do you think you don’t know America fully yet?

When did you and/or your family immigrate? Why did you immigrate? A.yes, I do. I still don’t know their traditions and customs and their donation
culture is very new to me.

Q. Have you experienced any discrimination as an immigrant?

A. No, I haven’t experienced.
invitation financial
from family reason
29% 19% Q. Do you think you are assimilated and your Korean cultural background
contribute to American culture?
69% A. I guess so. I am open to American culture and try to understand. Also, I
tell people about Korean culture.
1960 1990 present
Q. What does America mean to you?
children’s Etc A. As an American citizen, America is my second homeland. I will put down
education (study, marriage) my roots here.
23% 29%
Q. Would you immigrate to America again, if you can go back to past?
A. yes. But Korea will always be on the first place on my mind. haha
Nicole Cho, 53, mortgage broker
Q. How long have you lived in America? Why did you immigrate?
A. I have lived here for 23 years. I came here for my study.

Q. What was the hardest part when you first got here and assimilated into
new environment?
A. Everything in daily life was different so that it took a bit to get used to.
The train system was different from Korea, I had to check if I was going to
right direction couple times. And in Korea, the bathroom floor has drain.
When I came here, without thinking, I wet the floor to clean and realized
there was no drain. I had to clean the wet floor with paper towels. And
sometimes I forgot to close the faucet, I had to clean the whole floor too.

Q. When did you feel you became almost American?

A. When I got American citizenship, I felt I am officially accepted.

Q. When do you feel you are americanized?

A. When I see Koreans who just got here. They are way too considerate and
humble. I know that is proper in Korea but I feel they look less confident.

Q. Do you find Koreaness inside you which you can’t help?

A. I can’t live without Korean food.

Q. Do you think you don’t know America fully yet?

A. Yes. I have a lot to learn about laws and regulations.

Q. Have you experienced any discrimination as an immigrant?

A. When I worked in a bank, white people never consulted about mortage
loan to me or other asian bankers.

Q. Do you think you are assimilated and your Korean cultural background
contribute to American culture?
A. I came to America when I was 31 and still I don’t think I am successfully
assimilated. And I don’t think my cultural background contributes to
culture in the United States.

Q. What does America mean to you?

RELIGION A. It is not my homeland but I have my life here. I will finish my life here.

Q. Would you immigrate to America again, if you can go back to past?

A. Yes.

Who attend services (church, temple, etc)? Do you make friends from temple or church?


Korean American Yes No

90% 3% 87% 13%
Taewoong Go, 55, entrepreneur
Q. How long have you lived in America? Why did you immigrate?
A. It has been 6years and 6months. I wanted to educate my children in
better environment, and I also wanted to live freely without worrying how
people look at me.

Q. What was the hardest part when you first got here and assimilated into
new environment?
A. Language difference was the hardest part for me and for my children it
took a lot of time to get used to new school system.

Q. Do you have any americanized behavior or ideas of yours?

A. Whenever I had a gathering in Korea, someone took charge of the
dinner or drinks. The turn goes around and it was quite big money to
spend at once. Since I came here, I feel comfortable to pay dutch. and I
foam a line and wait for my turn more patiently.

Q. On the other hand, do you still have a very Korean habit or thinking?
A. When I meet japanese people, I don’t like them that much. It is very
Korea-Japan thing. Japanese had done brutal things like Nazi did to Jews.
And they never apologized officially and teach their children distorted
history. and with their politics and everything, they are always getting on
nerves on Koreans.
During winter, my neighbor helped me to clean snow and invited me for
dinner, but I was so shy and was reluctant to accept the invite. It hardly
happens in Korea and I feel strange. I was afraid to open up myself.

Q. Do you think you don’t know America fully yet?

A. Yes. I searched for some supplies to buy and just found out the system
was different from in Korea and each store has very specific products. I
realized I have lots to know about. Also when I have a problem to solve,
I have no idea where to get the help or how to start, while natives figure
that out easily.

Q. Do you think you are successfully assimilated and your Korean cultural
background contribute to American culture?
A. Watching TV helped me to figure out the life in America and I think I am
assimilated. And I always explain about my culture, especially about how
young people respect the elderly, and people understand it. I always try

90% 25%
to tell about my country and that might contribute to American culture?

Q. What does America mean to you?

A. where I live now, my children get education, and it is a friendly country
to Korea.

Q. Would you immigrate to America again, if you can go back to past?

A. No. I wouldn’t immigrate to America unless i go back to 30 years ago.
of Korean immigrants have of Korean immigrants spend
a religion. more than 6hours in a week for
their religion.
Were you in trouble with figuring out your identity in your adolescene? Who do you think you are? How do you like people to recognize you?

Korean American

Korean-Americans who
understand and/or speak Korean No
Korean-Americans who 86%
speak Korean with their parents
Korean-Americans who
speak Korean with their siblings Korean

you people

of Korean Americans
Did you like having Korean appearance?

feel more comfortable

No American
with English.

of Korean Americans
think they should know
Korean language.


of Korean Americans say they
want their children to know
Korean culture and language.
Do you watch Korean dramas, series?

지금 보실 영상은
정신과 전문의의 조언에
따라 진행된 무한도전멤버
들의 관찰카메라입니다.
카메라가 없는 자연스러운
상황에서 보이는 버릇이나
언행을 정신과 전문의가
면밀히 관찰 후
이들의 성격 스타일 Yes
It all began on New Year’s
day in my thirty-second
year of being single. Once again,
I found myself on my own.
and going to my mother’s
Have you been to Korea?

Are you willing to do long-term stay in Korea?


annual turkey curry

77% No
Jane Pang, 27
fashion account executive Who mostly are your close friends?

Q. Where were you raised?
A. I was raised in Queens Bayside surrounded by a mixed culture of Asians and White.

Q. Some Asian Americans said that they thought they were white until 6, 7. When and
how did you recognized that you were not exactly same with other Americans?
A. Probably the same age around 6 when i was in elementary school.

Q. Did that experience bring any change in you? Koreans

(like your feelings, personality, thoughts, etc)
A. No.
Korean Americans
Q. What kind of kid were you at school? 41%
A. active outgoing kid

Q. Have you had any trouble with your Korean parents as a teenager? (such as miscom-
munication brought from language differences, different mindsets, etc)
A. No. I didn’t have any problem communicating with my parents, I can speak Korean,
and my parents can speak English too. They support me all the time, so I didn’t have
Do you have close Korean friends from Korea?
hard time as a teenager. Do you have close Korean friends from Korea?

Q. Did your parents push you to pursue successful jobs in Korean standards?
A. No. My parents respect my opinions. My mom worked in boutiques and when I de-
cided to go for fashion, she supported me a lot.

Q. What kind of family do you have?

A. I have a very open minded, supportive family. We are all very outspoken individuals.
We all are comedic.

Yes No
Q. Are you happy to have Korean heritage? What do you like about? 40% 60%
A. Yes, I am happy. I like that we have traditions and different foods.

Q. What do you dislike about Korean heritage?

A. some Korean people are very close minded. Do you feel cultural differences from them?

Q. Are you more involved with being Korean or American? Do you try to balance be-
tween your Americanness and Koreanness?
A. I’m more American because I was born here. However I do value my traditions and

Q. Do you think your Koreanness assimilated into American culture or it exists along
with other cultures?
A. I think it exists amongst other cultures since New York is so diverse in cultures.

Yes No
50% 50%
Jason Pae, 23
underwriter Who would you like to date and/or marry?

Anyone you like to date

Korean persons preferred for dates

Anyone you like to marry

Q. Where were you raised? Korean persons preferred for marriage
A. I was raised in a mixed environment. However, there was a large Asian population.

Q. Some Korean Americans said that they thought they were white until 6, 7. When and
how did you recognized that you were not exactly same with other Americans?
A. I recognized it very early on since I grew up in a mixed population.

Q. Did that experience bring any change in you? Do your parents influence you on choosing who you date and/or marry?
(like your feelings, personality, thoughts, etc)
A. No, I just realized people came from different places and had different roots, culture,
and personalities.

Q. What kind of kid were you at school? Yes

A. I was a little on the shy side. 23%

Q. Have you had any trouble with your Korean parents as a teenager? (such as miscom-
munication brought from language differences, different mindsets, etc) Date Marriage
A. I had some trouble due to different mindsets and culture clashes. i.e., I wouldn’t be 45%
able to go out as often.
No No
Q. Did your parents push you to pursue successful jobs in Korean standards? 77% 55%
A. No. I was fine to pursue my own interests and desires.

Q. What kind of family do you have?

A. I think we have a normal family with two parents and two children. you could say we
are living the American Dream.

Q. Are you happy to have Korean heritage? What do you like about? Who do your parents prefer for you to date and/or marry?
A. Yes, it makes me proud that my parents came from Korea and started new and had
the means to raise my sister and I.

Q. What do you dislike about Korean heritage?

A. I feel there are too many social rules.

Q. Are you more involved with being Korean or American? Do you try to balance be-
tween your Americanness and Koreanness?
A. I am more involved with being American as I was born here.

Q. how do you think about Korean immigrants and cultural assimilation?

A. I feel that it is very important for immigrants to assimilate and learn the language of
the country they are in and not to isolate themselves.
Korean doesn’t matter
Q. Do you feel your Koreanness assimilated into American culture or it exists along with
68% 32%

other cultures?
A. I feel that being Korean is where I came from, and being American is who I am.