Dissertation Abstracts

understanding the integration experiences of Korean Canadians

Author: Bong-Hwan Kim, bonghwankim45@gmail.com
Department: Sociology
University: University of Manitoba, Canada
Supervisor: Lori Ann Wilkinson
Year of completion: 2013
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: immigrant integration , social capital , political engagement , discrimination
Areas of Research: Migration , Political Sociology , Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations


The number of Korean immigrants in Manitoba increased significantly in a decade since the introduction of the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Recent statistics indicate that Manitoba attracted over 13,000 immigrants in 2009, many coming from Korea. The purpose of this research is to understand and measure the integration experiences of Korean immigrants in terms of their social, political, education and employment domains. The primary theory used in this research is social capital. Theories of acculturation, ethnic economy, power and stratification are also used to situate my research. Data was collected using mixed methods comprising a survey of 260 Korean Canadians living in Winnipeg, Manitoba and qualitative interviews with 12 respondents. The analysis shows, among other things, high levels of racism felt by Korean immigrants in Winnipeg. While this perception and daily encounter of discrimination in the community would impede Korean immigrants' integration into Canada, it is also found that there exists a strong will to succeed in the community through accessing existing social capital and the willingness to invest in social capital. The contribution made in the development and operationalization of social capital in term of willingness to invest and social capital mindset are documented. Several program ideas offered for policy makers and future research areas have been identified. The development of political engagement index provides justification for observations made by social capital theory and immigrant integration literature.

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