The ICAS Lectures

2012-0804-HYY

My Coordinate and the Class Issues in the American Context

Hayoung Yoo


ICAS Summer Symposium

August 4, 2012 Tuesday 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Gwynedd Mercy College Connelly Faculty Center
Gwynedd Valley PA

Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.
965 Clover Court, Blue Bell, PA 19422
Email: icas@icasinc.org
http://www.icasinc.org

Biographic sketch & Links: Hayoung Yoo

My Coordinate and the Class Issues in the American Context*



in partial fulfillment of
the requirements for the
ICAS Youth Fellowship Awards Contest 2012


submitted

to

Faculty
ICAS Youth Academy



by

Hayoung Yoo**



*A winning paper for Becky Norton Dunlop Award for Excellence of
the ICAS Youth Fellowship Awards Contest 2012

**A freshman-to-be, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

June 29, 2013

Table of Contents
How will the Korean-American second generation perform without cram-schools and the
Korean-American first and/or 1.5 generation stalking them and outside of their comfort
zones at the collegiate and professional working levels?
Summary1
Introduction3
1.1 My Coordinate in the American Context: Population Demographics3
1.2 My Coordinate in the American Context: 13th and/or 14th Graders3
1.3 My Coordinate in the American Context: Boxed In a Self-Inflicted Vicious Cycle5
1.4 My Coordinate in the American Context: All Eggs In One Basket6
1.5 My Coordinate in the American Context: Acculturation, Assimilation, and Integration8
Conclusion8
Introduction9
2.1 The Class Issues of the Korean-Americans in the American Context: Education9
2.2 The Class Issues of the Korean-Americans in the American Context: Culture10
2.3 The Class Issues of the Korean-Americans in the American Context: Finance10
2.4 The Class Issues of the Korean-Americans in the American Context: Politics11
2.5 The Class Issues of the Korean-Americans in the American Context: Profession12
2.6 The Class Issues of the Korean-Americans in the American Context: Sociability13
2.7 The Class Issues of the Korean-Americans in the American Context: Working Class and Underclass14
Conclusion14
References14
Bibliography16
Acknowledgement17
My Coordinate and the Class Issues in the American Context 1

Hayoung Yoo 2


Winner, Becky Norton Dunlop Award for Excellence, ICAS Youth Fellowship Awards Contest 2012


Immigration to the Melting Pot has been the rite of passage for most Korean newcomers, who have dreamed about being an American. However, their challenges, shortly thereafter, began. The educational, cultural, political, professional, and social imbalances between American values and Korean values have been the conflicts separating a Korean-American immigrant ghetto from American society. The mandatory tactics to overcome the plateau of a Korean- American immigrant enclave have not yet been taken, and this prohibits a Korean-American immigrant ghetto from embedding in American society. A Korean-American immigrant enclave has questioned itself on how to bridge its barriers, to close its gaps, and to ease its thresholds but has not answered itself for decades.

For the sake of clarification, certain terms that form the key argument of this paper have been defined. The concept of nature versus nurture is described as where he/she is born unto versus his/her prevailing microenvironment that affects, develops, impacts, influences, and shapes his/her personal development and growth. Cram-schools are known to a Korean- American immigrant enclave as hak-wons, which are "...private, supplementary [cram-schools] that intensively teach one subject at a time to huge numbers of Asian students" (Kolker 2011, p.87). The dictionary describes the phrase, 'formative years,' as the time between childhood and adulthood. For the purposes of this paper, however, formative years range from the age of 5 to 18. The term 'disenfranchised' means being deprived of voting. The terms 'insular' and 'isolated' are described interchangeably in this paper because both terms describe the educational, cultural, political, professional, and social removal of a Korean- American immigrant ghetto from American society. The term 'marginalized' is described as "...where one is not an active participant and does not feel as if he/she belongs to a society" (Hahn 2001). The concept of opportunity cost/lost is described as how the more he/she loses effort, resources, and time from doing certain things, the more he/she loses valuable and worthy effort, resources, and time unto other things that are just as important, if not more. A common parental practice in a Korean-American immigrant ghetto is described as the 'propping trap,' which means the Korean-American first and/or 1.5 generation demonstrates micromanagement to the Korean-American second generation by molding them with their GPA- and/or SAT-centric approach. The term 'acculturation' is described as "...where one becomes a fully accepted member of a culture through influencing that society by making its own unique cultural contribution" (Ibid.). The term 'assimilation' is described as "...where one becomes a part of a body by becoming uniform to its pre-established members," (Ibid.) and the term 'integration' is described as a "...person's acceptance of and acceptance into a culture" (Ibid.). The dictionary describes the term 'class' as a group with similar socioeconomic status, so the phrase 'class issues' differentiates a Korean- American immigrant enclave from American society. The term 'underclass' has been described a s an overstatement to "...label...[underprivileged] people, who are accused, rightly or wro ngly, of failing to behave in the 'mainstream' ways of the...culturally dominant American middl e class." 3 For the purpose of this pape r, the term 'underclass' has been a metaphorical extension to stress class issues, measured by the educational, cultural, financial, political, professional, and social measures of standard of American society.

By and large, the purpose of this paper is not to deduce solutions. Rather, the purpose of this paper is to unearth the issues of a Korean-American immigrant ghetto. The views and opinions expressed in this paper are solely those of the author. This paper is solely based on the research and the epigenetic and vicarious experiences and observations of the author, a Korean- American second generation youth.

The first chapter of this paper will begin by deciphering population demographics, which will evaluate the numeric negligibility of Korean-Americans. Then, an in-depth analysis on the belated graduations and post-secondary dropout rates of the Korean-American second generation will be made by examining statistics and highlighting how and why their formative years have caused a Domino effect of unintended consequences at the collegiate and professional working levels. Then, a succinct description of a Korean-American immigrant enclave will be shared by looping in concepts, such as nature versus nurture and opportunity cost/lost. Then, the Korean- American second generation will be identified by naming how and why the issues of the Korean- American second generation subconsciously come about. What potential significance will the prevailing environment affect, develop, impact, influence, and shape the Korean-American second generation, even if they were born here? Lastly, the first chapter of this paper delivers a take-home message: for Korean-Americans to make well-informed decisions by flaunting opportunities and privileges of American society, for the sakes of their futures and the futures of following Korean-American generations.

Most Korean-Americans have been in the average 90% of the Gaussian curve; the average 90% being a Korean-American immigrant ghetto as the Korean-American middle class. The second chapter of this paper will begin by introducing the differences between the American middle class and the Korean-American middle class in the educational measure of standard, especially during their formative years. Then, the discrepancies between the American middle class and the Korean-American middle class in the cultural measure of standard will be pronounced by describing the irrelevance the ethnic cultural activities of the Korean-American middle class has had to that of the American middle class. Then, the deviations between the American middle class and the Korean-American middle class in the financial measure of standard will be reviewed by comparing and contrasting the numeric data of the two. Then, the divergences between the American middle class and the Korean-American middle class in the political measure of standard will shed a light on the lack of proactive engagement and participation the Korean-American middle class has had with the American federal government and its elementary policies. Then, the incongruities between the American middle class and the Korean-American middle class in the professional measure of standard will be spelled out by touching upon the decreasing rates of mom-and-pop stores. Then, the differences between the American middle class and the Korean-American middle class in the social measure of standard will be underscored by unriddling the mentality of the American middle class versus that of the Korean-American middle class. Then, the Korean-American working class and underclass will be succinctly described, in order to broaden and expand the scope of this paper. Lastly, the second chapter of this paper delivers a take-home message: for Korean-Americans to foster the education, culture, history, language, politics, professions, sociability, and traditions of American society, for the sakes of their futures and the futures of following Korean-American generations as a class.

Chapter 1

My Coordinate in the American Context: 4

Introduction


For the past 50-odd years, an ethnic community of Korean-Americans has been named an immigrant 'enclave' and/or 'ghetto' by American literature and by Korean-Americans themselves (e.g., Reverend In Ho Koh and Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra David Kim) because from the outside looking in, American society has been seeing them in that light. The mentality (i.e. GPA- and/or SAT-centric approach) of a Korean-American immigrant ghetto has negatively affected, developed, impacted, influenced, and shaped the Korean-American second generation, which has sparked a Domino effect of unintended consequences into their adolescence and their adulthood. American literature and Korean-Americans themselves, who have analyzed the issues of a Korean-American immigrant enclave, have believed that its attitude, conduct, demeanor, ways, and means have been unrelated to that of American society. A Korean-American immigrant ghetto has physically sowed roots in American soil, but American literature and Korean-Americans themselves have believed that it has not educationally, culturally, politically, professionally, and socially germinated in American society. As a Korean-American second generation youth, born unto a Korean-American immigrant enclave, my intellectual curiosity has been inspired by the literary works of these experts in addressing the issues of a Korean- American immigrant ghetto.

1.1 My Coordinate in the American Context: Population Demographics


The United States of America has become increasingly diverse, but the numeric negligibility of Korean-Americans still remains. According to the census, there are about 310,000,000 people and counting in the US. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has stated that Whites make up about 80% of them; Hispanics make up about 15%; Blacks make up about 13%; and Asians make up about 5%. The census also has stated that Korean-Americans make up about 0.5% of the total US population. Their population demographics have been disadvantageous for them. Hence, most Korean-Americans have been in the average 90% of the Gaussian curve and statistically have had no proving ground in American society.

1.2 My Coordinate in the American Context: 13th and/or 14th Graders


In addition to becoming more diverse, the US educational system has become increasingly competitive. About 3,100,000 high school students were projected to graduate in 2012, 5 and about 35% of them were projected to enroll in four-year educational institutions. 6 According to American College Testing (ACT), about a quarter of all college students drop out before their sophomore years. According to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), more than half of all students graduate from four-year educational institutions within six years. The belated graduations and the post-secondary dropout rates have casted shadows on the US educational system. These casted shadows have focused on the Korean- American second generation because about 44% of Korean students at Ivy League universities drop out halfway through. The belated graduations and the post-secondary dropout rates of the Korean-American second generation have contributed to these increasing rates and have figuratively characterized them as 13th and/or 14th graders.

The concept of nature versus nurture describes the belated graduations and the post- secondary dropout rates of the Korean-American second generation as they have been caused by how and why the attitude, conduct, demeanor, ways, and means of a Korean-American immigrant enclave have negatively affected, developed, impacted, influenced, and shaped the Korean-American second generation. How will the Korean-American second generation perform without cram-schools and the Korean-American first and/or 1.5 generation stalking them and outside of their comfort zones at the collegiate and professional working levels? Cram-schools and the Korean-American first and/or 1.5 generation have had the Korean-American second generation on a 'short leash,' since their formative years in a Korean-American immigrant ghetto, where that has been the norm. Enrolling into a post-secondary educational institution is the first official detachment from the supervisions of cram-schools and the Korean-American first and/or 1.5 generation, but the Korean-American second generation "...[carries] these impressions, intuitions, and experiences with them as they leave their parents' homes and the church communities that raised them and enter into the world of [post-secondary] education" (Park 2012, p.140). Due to their custom-tailored discipline, the Korean- American second generation has lacked skills, such as articulation and research. Despite the deprivation of research skills amongst college freshmen, most of them consider themselves experts at Internet research. 7 Experts have "...found that students often fail to thrive if they are admitted to [post-secondary educational institutions] for which they're far less prepared than their fellow students..." (Sander and Taylor 2012, A29). A few have argued that mentor groups and study groups have been available to struggling Korean-American college freshmen and/or college sophomores for help. Seeking help in cram-schools has been different from seeking help in post-secondary educational institutions of American society. If there are mentor groups and study groups available to struggling Korean-American college freshmen and/or college sophomores, why has the Korean-American post-secondary dropout rate increased? Korean-American post-secondary dropouts heavily struggled to learn real world skills and studying habits with no cram-schools and the Korean-American first and/or 1.5 generation around, to build relationships with strangers, and to be college-ready.

In addition to the belated graduations and the post-secondary dropout rates of the Korean- American second generation, the issues of the Korean-American second generation have been crucial at the professional working level as well. Experts have stated that, "Most people, who did not speak English as their first language or who grew up in households, where English was not the language of choice, choose [occupations] that are not so dependent on fluent English..." (Herrnstein and Murray 1996, p.300). Korean-American post-secondary dropouts return back home to work at Korean-American immigrant establishments, such as cram-schools and mom-and-pop stores, to fall back on because "They are heavily reliant on employers from the same ethnicity, so if for some reason those jobs are no longer accessible, it is more challenging for those workers to find employment, given the language and cultural barriers they face" (Semuels 2010, B1). However, "Grouping too many...minorities l eads to structural marginalization or 'ghettoes' of low-power minority groups." 8 These occupations have been "...not so dependent on fluent English...", and "...in ge neral, Asian cultures emphasize interdependence among kin more and individualism less than W estern culture. [Asian-American] families place a greater emphasis on children's loyalty and serv ice to their parents than do Western families" (Cherlin 2008, p.171). This has happened more to the Korean-American second generation than any other ethnicity of the Asian descent because "Korean-Americans are strongly inclined toward coethnic solidarity and as such, their [post-secondary] outcomes such as...employment opportunities may rely more heavily on their Korean and Korean-American circles compared to other Asian groups" (Park 2012, p.136). Regarding those Korean-Americans, who have graduated from their respective post- secondary educational institutions, the Pew Research Center has stated that more than half of the Asian-American second generation have earned at least a baccalaureate degree. However, according to the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI), less than two percent of executive positions have been held by Asian-Americans at Fortune 500 companies; about 0.3% of them are of Korean descent. The pattern of Korean-American absences in the work force of American society has been due to a 'ceiling' in which they have been trapped under because they have lacked the strategies in climbing up the ladder to success and still heavily struggle with the issues they have had to face in their formative years and in college.

1.3 My Coordinate in the American Context: Boxed In a Self-Inflicted Vicious Cycle


American literature and Korean-Americans themselves have described a Korean- American immigrant enclave with terms, such as 'disenfranchised,' 'insular,' 'isolated,' and 'marginalized.' Firstly, American literature and Korean-Americans themselves have described a Korean-American immigrant ghetto as being disenfranchised because it has veered away from political activism. One of the many reasons being that a Korean-American immigrant enclave has believed that American politics have had no relation to it. Once US citizens have reached the age of 18, they can vote, which has been vested in the 15th Amendment of the US Constitution. By not voting, a Korean-American immigrant ghetto has taken away its own voting rights and has not abided by elementary policies of American society. Thus, the generation has started over in a Korean-American immigrant enclave because without cumulative assets, each posterity has laid the same legacy that helps neither American society nor them. Secondly, American literature and Korean-Americans themselves have described a Korean-American immigrant ghetto as being insular and isolated from American society. This has not only been due to its reluctance to participate in American society, but also due to behavioral and language barriers, gaps, and thresholds. Most Korean-American post-secondary students feel more and more alienated, since their Korean-American peers have dropped out. They have no one else to feel comfortable around and relate to while having to face the demands of American society that have been foreign to a Korean-American immigrant enclave. Thirdly, American literature and Korean- Americans themselves have described a Korean-American immigrant ghetto as being marginalized. It has been suspended in between America and Korea as it has distributed its effort, resources, and time unto major influences, such as the Korean government, Korean media outlets, and groups of Korea; hence, the concept of opportunity cost/lost kicks in. Even if a Korean-American immigrant enclave would like to try to adjust to American society, it cannot because it does not know how to, since nobody from it has before. It has not had a prototype to adhere to or an example to set.

A popular Korean-American immigrant establishment has been a Korean-American immigrant church. American literature and Korean-Americans themselves have believed that a Korean-American immigrant church has been the hub of a Korean-American immigrant enclave in maintaining the Korean culture and language for the Korean-American second generation. One of the first things Korean immigrants do is establish a Korean-American immigrant church rather than joining a congregation in American society.

Another popular Korean-American immigrant establishment has been a cram-school. There are about 20 cram-schools in the Greater Philadelphia region alone. The hierarchy of Korean-American immigrant afterschool programs from the bottom to the top is as follows: nonprofits based in Korean-American immigrant churches, such as the day cares of the Korean School Association of America (KSAA) with focus on the Korean culture and language; then the informal, home-based afterschools; and then for-profit cram-schools (Kolker 2011, p.88). Cram- schools are described as "...a reaction to America's very vocal English-only movement...gestures many immigrants find troubling...The number of [cram-schools] nationwide has boomed from 490 in 1990 to 890 [in 2001]..." 9 This has been how and why the Korean-American first and/or 1.5 generation has seeked to further the education of the Korean-American second generation. A Korean-American immigrant ghetto has been interested in advertisements that are in Korean, graph what Asian-Americans have in common, and that are of interest to the Korean- American second generation. 10 The advertisements of cram-schools have guaranteed high scores but have not exemplified the attainments of those high-scorers at the collegiate and professional working levels. The concept of opportunity cost/lost describes this issue by conveying how and why the more a Korean- American immigrant enclave loses effort, resources, and time from reading the advertisements of cram-schools, the more a Korean-American immigrant ghetto loses valuable and worthy effort, resources, and time unto other things that are just as important, if not more.

1.4 My Coordinate in the American Context: All Eggs In One Basket


The Korean-American second generation distributes about three-quarters of their time unto studying and about a quarter of their time unto certain extracurricular activities. Northwestern University has cited that Asian-Americans in their formative years distribute about 13 hours per day using computers, mobile devices, televisions, and other media as opposed to about 81/2 hours per day like American children do. 11 These specific activities have been different from that of American society through cram-schools, music lessons, and/or martial arts lessons in the settings of Korean-American immigrant establishments.

According to the Pew Research Center, about 40% of Asian-Americans have believed that the first and/or 1.5 generation has put too much pressure on the second generation to academically succeed, but about 60% of Asian-Americans have believed that their counterparts have not pressured their children enough. Experts have stated that "The link between test scores and those achievements is [evaded] by the totality of other characteristics that [he/she] brings to [his/her] life, and that's the fact that individuals should remember when they look at their test scores...Test scores have a modest correlation with first-year grades and no correlation at all with what you do in the rest of your life" (Herrnstein and Murray 1996, p.66). Cram- schools and the Korean-American first and/or 1.5 generation have believed that high scores will lead to the American Dream, but "Under current practices, there is simply no way to tell how students' qualifications on entry affect their academic success" (Sander and Taylor 2012, A29). Scoring well has been a far cry from being the only dynamic that has mattered as cram-schools and the Korean-American first and/or 1.5 generation have wished it to be. According to the remarks of Nobel Laureate Lawrence R. Klein during a dinner and private dialog in 2004, "Many Korean students start out well and gain good grades than many other American students, but when they go to college, they seem often worn out and fail the courses, and their learning curves flattened out." This has called for a serious reality check. The Korean-American first and/or 1.5 generation ought to use a laissez-faire parental practice, rather than the propping trap, towards the Korean-American second generation, so that it will censor the Korean-American first and/or 1.5 generation and the Korean-American second generation from further educational, cultural, financial, political, professional, and social atrophy and dystrophy.

The years, since the mid-20th-century, have marked a new era in the history of Korean- Americans when the public reputations of Asian-Americans have transitioned into the stereotypical 'model minority,' which has been a stereotype of Asian-Americans as they have been seen as math and/or science overachievers, music prodigies, martial artists, and/or obedient children of mom-and-pop store-owning parents. This has been what cram-schools and the Korean-American first and/or 1.5 generation have wanted the Korean-American second generation to be because cram-schools and the Korean-American first and/or 1.5 generation have thought that those extracurricular activities have been enough to succeed in American society. The extracurricular activities that cram-schools and the Korean-American first and/or 1.5 generation have considered impressive have not carried any weight, which have resulted in grooming cookie cutter applications. In contrast to what American society has considered impressive, a Korean-American immigrant ghetto is not necessarily as it has been preconceived. The misconceptions of a Korean-American immigrant enclave are described as "Many people think that all Koreans go to Harvard and get A-pluses, that all Koreans are rich. This is not so. This community has many tragedies; a lot of stereotyping in reverse. Take the typical Korean family. Materially, they may be well-off, but in every other way, they are living in poverty. They absolutely have no life except working." 12 These issues have been regarded by the lack of enforcement and lack of intervention in a Korean-American immigrant ghetto, leaving the Korean-American second generation with no accumulation of cumulative assets towards what is holistic. Asian-American organizations, such as the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), and more, all have agreed that these skewed depictions have been "...false stereotypes and the model minority", "...one-dimensional narratives of exceptionalism", "...shallow analysis...", and "...mischaracterizations...", respectively.13 American literature and Korean-Americans themselves all have agreed that these stereotypical portrayals have become more and more misconstrued and misleading.

1.5 My Coordinate in the American Context: Acculturation, Assimilation, and Integration


According to the Pew Research Center, the majority of 20 million adult children of immigrants, who have taken the survey, have considered themselves "...a typical American..." (Jordan 2013, A3). Acculturation, assimilation, and integration have been absent in a Korean-American immigrant enclave, which have been long overdue crises to this day. Acculturation has entailed the adoption of and adaption to American society. A Korean- American immigrant ghetto can integrate itself into American society by maintaining its Korean- American identity; hence, multiculturalism. The acculturation, assimilation, and integration of a Korean-American immigrant enclave have continued. Most Korean-Americans may not be "...a typical American..." as they have considered themselves to be because "Contemporary studies of Asian-Americans, who are thoroughly acculturated, also show the typical discrepancy in verbal and visuospatial abilities" (Herrnstein and Murray 1996, p.300). They have not yet truly acculturated, assimilated, and integrated into American society because it has lacked the know-how in doing so.

Conclusion


As a Korean-American second generation youth, born unto a Korean-American immigrant ghetto, representation has to be made so that it can develop and grow out of its ethnic community and emerge into American society. It is better late than never to initiate changing into a model that the Korean-American second generation would like to follow. Thus, the concepts of nature versus nurture and opportunity cost/lost will not negatively illustrate the issues of a Korean-American immigrant enclave. According to my calculus, a Korean-American immigrant ghetto ought to digest credible sources and make prudent decisions. It must build foundation towards its future, in order to build up from there and rely on its foundation. With empowerment to exercise good citizenship, it ought to serve humanity with human capital and social capital in American society. By applying the concepts of nature versus nurture and opportunity cost/lost to their attitude, conduct, demeanor, ways, and means for the good of both themselves and American society, Korean-Americans are in for resilience.

Chapter 2

The Class Issues of the Korean-Americans in the American Context 14

Introduction


As mentioned in the first chapter of this paper, the attitude, conduct, demeanor, ways, and means of most Korean-Americans have caused a Domino effect of unintended consequences to the Korean-American second generation into their adolescence and adulthood; one of those unintended consequences being class issues. American literature and Korean-Americans themselves, who have analyzed class, have believed that it has been a subtle topic of discussion and study. As a Korean-American second generation youth, born unto a Korean-American immigrant ghetto, the literary works of these experts have evoked me to convey the class issues of a Korean-American immigrant enclave, which can be measured in the educational, cultural, financial, political, professional, and social measures of standard.

2.1 The Class Issues of the Korean-Americans in the American Context: Education


One of the mottos the American middle class has lived by is that education has been the beacon and compass towards the upper strata of American society. Education has enriched from the heritage and history of the American middle class, which began when "...a generation of immigrants...left Europe and populated American [educational institutions], research centers, and think tanks" (Zakaria 2009, p.38). Education has never been finite in the American middle class, regardless of age and experience. The breadth and depth of education have broadened and expanded from educational exposure and learning. Experts have argued that education has been fundamental in the beginnings of their careers. The human capital and social capital of sterling figures have flourished from the special skills and talents that they have drawn from education. The American middle class has meticulously intervened and monitored the next faces of leadership, in order to get across to them the fruits of education. After witnessing the products of education, American middle class parents have always strived to learn the right recipe for their children to attain the special skills and talents of top-notch figures and to devour as much education as they can.

One of the mottos a Korean-American immigrant enclave has lived by is its GPA- and/or SAT-centric approach through cram-schools. The Korean-American middle class has heavily struggled to intervene and to monitor the Korean-American second generation in distinguishing themselves from their peers and in excelling outside of a Korean-American immigrant ghetto. "...American [educational institutions], research centers, and think tanks" have not been concentrated in Korean-Americans brought up by a Korean-American immigrant enclave but instead, those who have distinguished themselves from their peers and have excelled outside of a Korean-American immigrant ghetto. The Korean-American middle class has demanded a discipline unknown in the American middle class because the Korean-American middle class has believed that tier one education for the Korean-American second generation is more important than education for themselves. Thus, the Korean-American middle class has lacked access and knowledge of the opportunities and privileges of American society because it has had behavioral and language barriers, gaps, and thresholds. It is more important for Korean-American middle class parents to get an education if Korean-American middle class parents would like the Korean-American second generation to attain the special skills and talents of upstanding figures in American society. In addition, "If [parents] do nothing, if [parents] don't intervene actively and usefully, [their children] will continue to lose time...The situation is very serious for [children]...[Children] who [lose] the taste for work...strongly [risk] being unable to acquire it after [children leave] school" (Gould 1996, p.183). The Korean-American second generation has imitated the Korean-American first and/or 1.5 generation, so the Korean- American first and/or 1.5 generation and the Korean-American second generation can learn how to invest in American society together.

2.2 The Class Issues of the Korean-Americans in the American Context: Culture


The culture of the American middle class has stemmed from the 18th-century and has evolved in contemporary society. In the American middle class, everyday has been according to what they can do for American society by acknowledging and mirroring those, who have sacrificed a lot and have pioneered "...the open geography and frontier spirit; a flexible economy with limited interference by government; the Protestant work ethic; an immigrant workforce, constantly renewed by the next generation of talent from around the world" (Zakaria 2009, p.38). The American middle class "...maintains class power as a motive that...leads intellectuals...to assimilate into white middle class culture" (Bursztyn and Korn 2002, p.135). Appreciation for the heritage and history of the American middle class has been one of the greatest legacies the American middle class can lay for the following generations.

Since the American middle class has revolved around their heritage and history, the Korean-American middle class cannot carry the Korean cultural activities into the American middle class, but "Once that mistake has been made...most of them will never even have had a chance to get out of the other America," (Harrington 1997, p.15). The "...other America..." is a Korean-American immigrant enclave, metaphorically speaking, and is constituted of "...failures, who never succeeded in breaching the economic and social walls of the ghetto" (p.142). Its GPA- and/or SAT-centric approach has been a drag force and a risk factor to the Korean-American middle class as it has caused a warp of the negative consequences that will happen to the Korean-American second generation and has caused a tunnel vision of what the Korean-American middle class has thought will be best for the Korean- American second generation.

2.3 The Class Issues of the Korean-Americans in the American Context: Finance


For the purpose of using the socioeconomic term, 'class,' the differing average family incomes are as follows: the average family income of the American middle class is about $70,000; the average family income of the American working class is about $40,000; and the average family income of the American underclass ranges from about $15,000 to $25,000.15 The average family income of the Korean- American middle class is about $64,000. 16 Despite the similar financial profiles of the American middle class and the Korean-American middle class, the American middle class has not seen the Korean-American middle class as being alongside them in American society. The American middle class has contributed 25% tax bracket to the American federal government, whereas the Korean-American middle class has contributed 10% tax bracket. 17 Tax brackets have been rarely of discussion and study amongst a Korean-American immigrant enclave, which have caused them to be unknown as contributors to the American federal government. The Korean- American middle class has had an extraordinary work ethic, which has resulted in an increasing family income, but the deficit has increased as well. According to the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST), 67% of cram-schools overcharge and underreport the costs to regional education authorities. Cram-schools are worth $250 to $400 per month or more than $30,000 per year (Kolker 2011, p.88). This has made up a large share of the financial distribution of the Korean-American middle class. The chances of one from the top family income bracket, who has not performed very well in school, have been better than one from the bottom family income bracket, who has performed well in school. 18 Experts "...question whether the children of today's immigrants will see the same upward mobility enjoyed by the [children] of European arrivals in the past," (Jordan 2013, A3) but "From what is already known about heredity, should we not naturally expect to find the children of well-to-do, cultured, and successful parents better endowed than the children who have been reared in [ghettoes]...? An affirmative answer to the above question is suggested by nearly all the available scientific evidence" (Gould 1996, p.221). In other words, a student of the American middle class, who has not scored as well and has lived off of a higher family income, has had the chances of performing better than a student of the Korean-American middle class, who has scored higher and has lived off of a lower family income.

2.4 The Class Issues of the Korean-Americans in the American Context: Politics


American politics, on a local level, on a state level, on a national level, and on an international level, have explained the stories behind its founding documents that have originated from the 17th-century. American politics have consisted of beliefs that have manifested the relationships between American citizens and their global networks. American political figures have pursued to sustain class power by following elementary policies. The 'American Pie' concept has referred to the founding principles of the American middle class. The Korean- American middle class has staggered from this.

Although the Korean-American middle class is legally American, their inputs and services have channeled towards a Korean-American immigrant ghetto, instead of American society. Without a working progress, the Korean-American middle class has continued to be fixed in their behavioral and language barriers, gaps, and thresholds. Although American media outlets have been integrative, American media outlets have been unreached by the Korean- American middle class because "...the ease of...communication has enabled...immigrants to retain their ties to their countries of origin and may have reduced incentives to adapt to American customs and mores." 19 According to the New California Media (NCM), the ethnic newspapers, radio, and television have drawn about half of Asian-Americans and other minorities at least several times per week over their counterparts. Korean-American middle class parents have heavily struggled to acknowledge and to understand the information put forth because of behavioral and language barriers, gaps, and thresholds, so the reaction to their issue has been to consume the ethnic newspapers, radio, and television in which Korean-American middle class parents can comprehend their respective languages. Asian-Americans of the mainstream have waited to see Asian-American immigrant enclaves benefit and contribute to American politics. Since behavioral and language barriers, gaps, and thresholds have been present, there has been an estrangement between American politics and the Korean-American middle class.

2.5 The Class Issues of the Korean-Americans in the American Context: Profession


Profession has been measured by his/her intellectual and moral prowess in the work force of American society. The work ethic of the American middle class has continued to be unwavering. Children are the most expensive to support during their formative years, but it has been less burdensome for professionals, whose family income curves have proceeded to increase. The aspirations of the American middle class have involved the search for fulfillment that complements a management position by doing what few can do well, but the Korean-American absences from management positions have painted an insignificant reputation of them.

Mom-and-pop stores are described as "The old neighborhood Ma-Pa stores are still around. They are not...European any more. Ma and Pa are now Korean-American...They live in the store. They work seven days a week..." 20 Management positions in American society are able to reach a highly economic plateau on a single salary, but the Korean-American middle class can only reach a highly economic plateau on dual mom-and-pop stores. American literature and Korean- Americans themselves have stated that "Small stores cannot survive. It's over...In 10 years, there will be no more Korean mom-and-pop stores...[due to] rising rents, increased competition from online and corporate rivals, and more scrutiny from city agencies that impose fines." 21 About 69% of Asian- Americans have thought that they will succeed with hard work as opposed to about 58% of non- Asians that have believed so. About 93% of Asian-Americans have believed that their ethnicity is hardworking, but "...hard work alone isn't enough...Asian cultures have sayings like 'The loudest duck gets shot.' This is totally opposite from and incompatible with Western notions like 'The squeaky wheel gets the grease'" (Fisher 2011). In addition, "There is a real cult ural disconnect. Americans are taught to show leadership potential by being gregarious, outgoing , outspoken, and confident, but the Asian ideal is to work very hard, be humble and deferential, a nd blend in with the group. Expressing opinions or proposing changes is often seen...as disrespe ctful. It's important to take a close look at who is getting promoted at your company and analyze what they're doing, besides working hard" (Ibid.). Managing their mom-and-pop store may have been hard work as it has been a self-employed small business, but the Korean-American middle class has hardly worked from the perspectives of the American middle class. The Korean- American middle class has not necessarily blamed themselves for enmeshing into an occupational homogamy. Instead, the Korean-American middle class has blamed the behavioral and language barriers, gaps, and thresholds of living apart from the rest of America or the "...other America..." The Asian-American unemployment rate is not as low as it has seemed when contrasted to the national unemployment rate. Not only does Asian-American unemployment last longer than other races, but the Asian-Americans, who have had failed small businesses, have not filed for unemployment because they have considered working for the small businesses of their families as still being employed. 22 The unemployment issue amongst Asian-Americans will prolong to be a long-term struggle because although Asian-Americans have had the lowest unemployment rate, they have continued to heavily struggle with demanding employers and with reentering the work force, due to not "...understanding how to apply for jobs with employers outside their communities...", and "...encounter hurdles to new employment...I don't think things are turning around" (Semuels 2010, B1). This has resulted in Korean-American post-secondary dropouts and Korean-American college graduates returning back home to work at cram-schools and mom-and-pop stores to fall back on.

2.6 The Class Issues of the Korean-Americans in the American Context: Sociability


Bringing forth capital towards his/her enrichment and volunteering information that will be of interest and use to American society has been the vector to be in. The American middle class has been forward by utilizing their logic to strategically achieve their goals. The American middle class has been trying to perfect their characters by gaining realistic judgments that have given them a sense of direction in their lives to survive in American society. "Studies suggest that individuals' beliefs are affected by the social context during their [formative years] and young adulthood and that these beliefs, once formed, tend to remain throughout adulthood...Each successive birth cohort experiences a different social environment and retains distinctive opinions throughout adult life. Your values in childhood are shaped both by how your parents raised you and by the social climate in which your birth cohort grew up" (Cherlin 2008, p.353-4). In addition, "Common observation would itself suggest that the social class to which the family belongs depends less on chance than on the parents' native qualities of intellect and character" (Gould 1996, p.213). It has been greatly encouraged by the American middle class to take an initiative and act as the authority with the role as parents, but also working as a team to fix each other's weaknesses will enhance the relationship.

The Korean-American middle class has actively participated in a Korean-American immigrant enclave and has only interacted with fellow Korean-Americans more comfortably at cram-schools, Korean-American immigrant churches, and mom-and-pop stores. The Korean-Am erican second generation has shared similar characteristics based on family income, level of education, and parental occupation. The Korean-American middle class has gone 'into the closet, ' a phrase used by American literature and Korean-Americans themselves that means being in de nial while their lives have grown farther and farther away from the American middle class. It has left the Korean-American middle class uncertain of what ways and means to heed to, in order to redeem themselves and what lessons to get across to a Korean-American immigrant ghetto so that they can move forward.

2.7 The Class Issues of the Korean-Americans in the American Context: Working Class and Underclass


In addition to the Korean-American middle class, the Korean-American working class an d the Korean-American underclass have compromised a Korean-American immigrant enclave, b ut the differing family incomes have not been fašades of a better performing class. Class issues have been rarely to seldom of discussion and study in a Korean-American immigrant ghetto because this has been the least of their worries, but this has caused them to be less able to handle the demands of American society. American working class parents, "...with their emphasis on obedience and conformity, socialize their children for the kinds of blue- and pink-collar jobs [they] have held" (Cherlin 2008, p.297). A Korean-American immigrant enclave has been referred to as the underclass because the underclass has compromised of dropouts and the unemployed. Since the Korean-American post-secondary dropouts did not succeed, the Korean- American post-secondary dropouts have become "...part of a growing underclass, cut off from productive engagement in society," (Bursztyn and Korn 2002, p.49) and "Minority and underclass students are...unwilling to follow the directions of the [America n middle class]...[and] are typically socially incompetent...class and race could truly determine s tudent success if there was no one to intervene" (p.59). Korean-American post-secondary dropouts have been "...socially incompetent..." by using the familiar networks around them to help each other access occupations at cram-schools and mom-and-pop stores that Korean-American post-secondary dropouts had grew up in, but soon Korean-American post- secondary dropouts cannot depend on cram-schools and mom-and-pop stores anymore, since they are gradually going out of business. Mom-and-pop stores have been soon-to-be extinct small businesses, so that will leave those Korean-Americans in 10 years structurally unemployed. The presence of the underclass has been a reminder to those, who think they have b een far apart from the underclass, maintain the same practices. Again, a Korean-American immigrant ghetto has seen itself as being far apart from the underclass, so it has maintained the same practices. Apart from their differing family incomes, the class issues of all Korean- American classes have been all the same.

Conclusion


The class issues of a Korean-American immigrant enclave have dated back to the first milestone of crossing US boundaries as a Korean-American immigrant ghetto has surfaced into a dense and interrelated class. The rifts in class and interconnected networks have negatively affected, developed, impacted, influenced, and shaped a Korean-American immigrant enclave in accessing human capital and social capital. It takes closure of their tragedies and the opening of their minds, in order to cease the burden and the trench from deepening.


References


"Cultural Ghetto." WHYY. January 4, 2011. Narrated by David Kim.

"Ethnic advertising: One message, or many?" The Economist 401, no. 8765 (December 31, 2011): 48.

Castillo, Leonel I. "Leonel I. Castillo." 1997. In The Studs Terkel Reader: My American Century, by Studs Terkel, 82. New York: The New Press, 2007.

Cherlin, Andrew J. Public and Private Families: An Introduction. 5th ed. 1999. Reprint, New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, 2008.

Dolnick, Sam. "A New York Staple for Decades, Korean Grocers Are Dwindling." New York Times, June 2, 2011, A1.

Gould, Stephen Jay. The Mismeasure of Man. Rev. and Expanded ed. 1981. Reprint, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1996.

Harrington, Michael. The Other America: Poverty in the United States. 1981. Reprint, New York: Touchstone / Simon & Schuster, 1997.

Herrnstein, Richard J., and Charles Murray. The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. 1994. Reprint, New York: Free Press / Simon & Schuster, 1996.

Houman, Harouni. "High School Research and Critical Literacy: Social Studies With and Despite Wikipedia." Harvard Educational Review 79, no. 3 (Fall 2009): 539.

Jordan, Miriam. "Ladder to American Success." Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2013, A3.

Kim, Elaine H., and Eui-Young Yu. East to America: Korean American Life Stories. New York: The New Press, 1997.

Klein, Lawrence R. "Opening Young Minds." Dinner and Private Dialog, Institute for Corean-American Studies (ICAS), Margaret Kuo's, June 28, 2004.

Koh, In Ho. "What is the Place of the 2nd Generation?" Lecture, Evangelism for the Korean-American Young Adults, University of Pennsylvania, November 23, 2002.

Kolker, Claudia. The Immigrant Advantage: What We Can Learn from Newcomers to America About Health, Happiness and Hope. New York: Free Press / Simon & Schuster, 2011.

Korn, Carol, and Alberto Bursztyn, eds. Rethinking Multicultural Education: Case Studies in Cultural Transition. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group / ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2002.

Kuchment, Anna. "Ethnic Education; In America, more and more immigrant children are attending special programs to learn their native cultures--not to mention math." Newsweek, April 2, 2001, 74.

Mead, Walter Russell. "America's New Tiger Immigrants."Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2012, C3.

Park, Jerry Z. "Racial Insularity and Ethnic Faith: The Emerging Korean American Religious Elite." In Sustaining Faith Traditions: Race, Ethnicity, and Religion among the Latino and Asian American Second Generation, edited by Carolyn Chen and Russell Jeung, New York University Press, 2012.

Sander, Richard, and Stuart Taylor, Jr. "Do race preferences help students?" Los Angeles Times, October 7, 2012, A29.

Semuels, Alana. "Unemployment lasts longer for Asian Americans." Los Angeles Times, September 7, 2010, B1.

Sered, Susan Starr, and Rushika Fernandopulle. Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.

Whitbourne, Jonathan. "The dropout dilemma: One in four college freshmen drop out. What is going on here? What does it take to stay in?" Careers & Colleges 22, no. 4 (March 2002): 26.

Zakaria, Fareed. "Is America Losing Its Mojo?" Newsweek 154, no. 21 (November 23, 2009): 38.

Bibliography


"Minority groups favor ethnic media." USA Today, June 7, 2005. Accessed July 25, 2011. http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2005-06-07-Minority- media_x.htm.

Basu, Moni. "Immigrants in America: The second-generation story." CNN. Last modified February 7, 2013. Accessed April 21, 2013. http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/07/immigrants-in-america-the-second- generation-story/?iref=allsearch.

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). "United States." The World Factbook. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html, (accessed June 22, 2009).

Chen, Joie. "Asian-Americans Reject 'Good' News in Pew Report." Newsweek, June 26, 2012. Accessed August 5, 2012. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/26/asian-americans-reject-good-news-in- pew-report.html.

Fisher, Annie. "Is there a 'bamboo ceiling' at U.S. companies?" FORTUNE, October 7, 2011. Accessed June 26, 2012. http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/10/07/asian-americans-promotion-us- companies/.

Hahn, Sahang-Hee. "Germinating and Taking Roots in America: 'Acculturation' as the 'Assimilation' of the 21st Century: A Possible Shift in Focus for Post Immigrant Generation Korean Americans." Institute for Corean-American Studies (ICAS), 2001. Accessed June 22, 2009. http://www.icasinc.org/2001/2001m/2001mshh.html.

Kang, Shin-who. "67 Percent of Private Cram Schools Overcharge Parents."Korea Times, April 14, 2009. Accessed July 6, 2012. http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2009/04/117_43184.html.

Knowledge@Wharton. "Race, Gender and Careers: Why 'Stuffing the Pipeline' Is Not Enough." Last modified August 29, 2012. Accessed January 8, 2013. http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=3066.

Marcus, Mary Brophy. "Minority kids spend most of their waking hours plugged in." USA Today, June 8, 2011. Accessed June 26, 2012. http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/parenting-family/2011-06-07-media-race- minority_n.htm.

Marklein, Mary Beth. "4-year colleges graduate 53% of students in 6 years." USA Today, June 3, 2009. Accessed September 28, 2009. http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-06-03-diploma-graduation-rate_N.htm.

Park, Si-soo. "44% of Korean Ivy League Students Quit Course Halfway." Korea Times, October 3, 2008. Accessed September 28, 2009. http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/03/117_32124.html.

Stiglitz, Joseph. Interview by Aaron Task. The 'American Dream' Is a Myth: Joseph Stiglitz on 'The Price of Inequality'. Daily Ticker. June 8, 2012. Yahoo. Accessed July 24, 2012. http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/american-dream-myth-joseph- stiglitz-price-inequality-124338674.html.

Acknowledgment: I would like to thank Dr. Jerry Boucher, Mr. Ted Jeon, Ms. Sahang- Hee Hahn, Ms. Hannah Kim, and Dr. Sang Joo Kim for their invaluable critiques and constructiv e feedback on my essay. Each of them guided me in a superlative way, for which I am deeply gra teful.

1prepared for presentation at the ICAS Summer Symposium: The Korean Diaspora, August 4, 2012, Gwynedd-Mercy College, Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437
2a senior attending Hatboro-Horsham Senior High School, Horsham, PA 19044
3Susan Starr Sered and Rushika Fernandopulle, Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006), 164.
4prepared for presentations at the ICAS Summer Symposium: The Korean Diaspora, August 1, 2009 and August 14, 2010, Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA 19422
5National Center for Education Statistics, "High school graduates, with projections: 1986-87 to 2011-12," chart, in Projections of Education Statistics to 2012, by Debra E. Gerald and William J. Hussar, 31st ed. (Washington, DC: 2002), 55.
6---, "Enrollment in degree-granting institutions, by type of institution, with alternative projections: Fall 1987 to fall 2012," chart, in Projections of Education Statistics to 2012, 33.
7Harouni Houman, "High School Research and Critical Literacy: Social Studies With and Despite Wikipedia," Harvard Educational Review 79, no. 3 (Fall 2009): 539.
8Knowledge@Wharton, "Race, Gender and Careers: Why 'Stuffing the Pipeline' Is Not Enough," last modified August 29, 2012, accessed January 8, 2013, http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=3066.
9Anna Kuchment, "Ethnic Education; In America, more and more immigrant children are attending special programs to learn their native cultures--not to mention math," Newsweek, April 2, 2001, 74.
10"Ethnic advertising: One message, or many?," The Economist 401, no. 8765 (December 31, 2011): 48.
11Mary Brophy Marcus, "Minority kids spend most of their waking hours plugged in," USA Today, June 8, 2011, accessed June 26, 2012, http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/parenting-family/2011-06-07-media-race-minority_n.htm.
12Elaine H. Kim and Eui-Young Yu, East to America: Korean American Life Stories (New York: The New Press, 1997), 210.
13Joie Chen, "Asian-Americans Reject 'Good' News in Pew Report," Newsweek, June 26, 2012, accessed August 5, 2012, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/26/asian-americans-reject-good-news-in-pew-report.html.
14prepared for presentation at the ICAS Summer Symposium: The Korean Diaspora, August 6, 2011, Calvary Vision Community Center, Blue Bell, PA 19422
15"Gilbert-Kahl Model of Class Structure," chart, in The American Class Structure in an Age of Growing Inequality, by Dennis Gilbert, 8th ed. (Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press / Sage Publications, 2011), 14.
16"Demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of Korean, Asian, and all Americans," chart, US Census Bureau, 2007, in Multicultural America: An Encyclopedia of the Newest Americans, ed. Ronald H. Bayor (Santa Barbara: Greenwood Publishing Group / ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2011), 1: 1381.
17"2012 Federal Income Tax Brackets (IRS Tax Rates)," chart, in Forbes, by Nickel (2011), accessed July 29, 2012, http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneybuilder/2011/09/30/2012-federal-income-tax-brackets-irs-tax-rates/.
18Joseph Stiglitz, interview by Aaron Task, Daily Ticker, Yahoo, June 8, 2012.
19Moni Basu, "Immigrants in America: The second-generation story," CNN, last modified February 7, 2013, accessed April 21, 2013, http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/07/immigrants-in-america-the-second-generation-story/?iref=allsearch.
20Leonel I. Castillo, "Leonel I. Castillo," 1997, in The Studs Terkel Reader: My American Century, by Studs Terkel (New York: The New Press, 2007), 82.
21Sam Dolnick, "A New York Staple for Decades, Korean Grocers Are Dwindling." New York Times, June 2, 2011, A1.
22Judy Chu, interview by Poppy Harlow, Asian Americans' political clout, CNN, July 15, 2012.


This page last updated June 29, 2013 jdb