Asian American Studies: Identity Formation in Korean American Parachute Kids
Division: Social Sciences
Document Type: Undergraduate Student Research
Mentor(s): Grace Kao
Date of this Version: 01 May 2006
This document has been peer reviewed.
Received an email from Grace Kao (Director of the Asian American Studies Program) and she asked me to change from Humanities to Social Sciences.
Drawing on sixteen personal interviews with students from the University of Pennsylvania, this project examines and compares the unique experiences of Korean "parachute kids" to those of second-generation Korean Americans. Korean "parachute kids" are Korean-born international students who have come to the United States for study unaccompanied by their parents. I explore differences and similarities in conceptions of ethnic and cultural identity between the two groups by analyzing their responses to various questions regarding language, American culture, religious participation, academics, future plans, and dating. My results suggest that although parachute kids do experience similar issues regarding their ethnic identity as second generation Korean Americans, they demonstrate a greater degree of control over their lives and in the expression of their ethnic identity due in large part to the absence of parental influence.