Imperial Citizens Summary

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Nadia Kim, author of Imperial Citizens: Koreans and Race from Seoul to LA (Stanford 2008) is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Loyola Marymount University. Her research mainly focuses on the issues of transnational experiences of United States race and citizenship inequalities among Koreans, Asian Americans, and South Koreans. Her book Imperial Citizens has the won Book of the Year Award from the Asia and Asian America section and also the Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award from the Racial and Ethnic Minorities section from the American Sociological Association. The author’s main purpose in her book Imperial Citizens is to analyze on the nature, origins, and the extent of racial issues concerning Koreans and Asians with regards to Caucasians…show more content…
The riots were portrayed and dramatized in the United States as a huge struggle between African Americans and Koreans and became known as the “black riots” in South Korea. Even though time was of great unrest, the riots cultivated an alliance between African American churches and Koreans. In addition, cultural changes began to take place such as the formation of the scholarship organizations and African American pastors being invited on trips to South Korea. The author, however, did not delve much into the riots themselves. She speaks mainly to Korean immigrants going to the United States by specifically concentrating on Los Angeles and Seoul as her primary sites of analysis, in which she refers to as multisite methodology. Kim strives to move past the theories of Westernization and Assimilation of Korean immigrants into the United States and instead holds her claim that the experiences the immigrants have had already shaped their world views. In addition, these very experiences are shaped by the interactions and relations to that of Korea, the United States, and other ethnic groups, not just on a domestic…show more content…
While numerous people would state that Koreans, along with many other ethnic groups, come to America for the “American dream” or for “a better life”, one could also argue that white America came to Asia first. Similarly, I believe the author strives for a re-envisioning of United States history as not solely one of immigrants coming to America, but one of America going to the future immigrants. The author states that Koreans remain an “invisible and foreign minority here” and this book is a great portal in better understanding the Korean racial history. The awards listed above are very much well-deserved when it comes to applying the transnational approach to Korean Americans, who are most often set aside as a model minority. On the contrary, the author’s comprehensive research brings up questions about the reach of transnationalism in better understanding the United States racial and ethnic dynamics. Being Asian myself, I have always had a desire to understand more about Asian sending countries and this book particularly connects the racial, historical, and the transnational triangulation analysis. The book allowed me to have a clearer view on why I, my family, and friends talk about culture and race so differently and why stereotypes on Asians are imposed on Asian Americans. Also, it shows how racism and race are both understood and communicated and how they are

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