Life Rituals and Korean Ethnic Identities of Korean American Immigrants

미국에 거주하는 한국계 이민자의 생활의례 및 한국인 정체성

Sung, Miai;Lee, Soyoung

  • Received : 2016.03.14
  • Accepted : 2016.06.13
  • Published : 2016.06.30


In order to understand Korean American immigrants'adjustment to American society, it is important to understand how their life rituals and ethnic identities maintain or change over time and across immigration generations. To achieve this goal, this study examined how Korean Americans who resided in the New York City metropolitan area and New Jersey State performed life rituals and formed ethnic identities. A total of 18 Korean immigrants participated in one-on-one in-depth interviews and the interview data were analyzed with the themes. The results showed that Korean Americans performed life rituals integrating both Korean and American cultural aspects. Many Korean Americans attempted to perform life rituals based on American cultural holidays and procedures. However, a majority of these Koreans also strived to maintain Korean ethnic identities and also practice traditionally Korean life rituals as a way to preserve this ethnic identity. These findings suggest that across time and generation, Korean Americans prefer to maintain their Korean cultural identity, while not shunning the adoption of typical "American" rituals. The way that Korean Americans practice and develop identities differs very little across immigration generation. These findings provide insight on how the Korean government may support foreigners and immigrant families in South Korea and Korean Americans' acculturation processes in the U.S.


Korean American immigrants;life rituals;Korean ethnic identities


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Supported by : 한국방송통신대학교