Current Institutional Affiliation
Visiting Assistant Professor, Sociology, Yale University

Award Information

Abe Fellowship 2002
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Research Fellow, Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, University of California / San Diego / Center for Comparative Immigration Studies
The State and Immigrant Adaptation: A Comparative Study of the Korean Diaspora in Japan and the United States

This study will analyze the role of the state in incorporating immigrants with reference to different adaptation patterns of Korean immigrants in Japan and the United States. It is frequently acknowledged that the notion of 'race' is a sociopolitical construct that requires constant refurbishment. However, the consequences of racialization are less carefully explored. This project will analyze why and how the state racializes Koreans and what the consequences of racialization are. Koreans in Japan are highly assimilated and structurally foreign (i.e., legal aliens), whereas in the United States Koreans are structurally, but not culturally incorporated. This striking contrast between Koreans in Japan and the United States offers an interesting case study to examine what accounts for the divergent experiences of Korean immigrants and different modes of incorporation to the host society. I will argue that the contrast in adaptation patterns and resulting collective identity of Koreans are the outcomes of the strategic use of state policies to include/exclude the Korean populations in the interest of the states.