On Wednesday, August 15, 2018, Dr. Sou Hyun Jang gave a talk about "Korean Immigrants' Medical Tourism to South Korea" at Global Leadership Foundation (GLF), located at 46-20 Parsons Blvd, Flushing, NY 11355. Approximately 25 people attended the talk.

Dr. Jang presented findings from her recently published book, Medical Transnationalism: Korean Immigrants' Medical Tourism to South Korea (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018). Jang examines Korean immigrants' distinctive healthcare behaviors, contributing factors to their medical tourism, and their experiences and evaluations of medical tourism. By analyzing survey data and conducting interviews with Korean immigrants in the New York–New Jersey area, Jang found that Korean immigrants utilize three main behaviors to deal with their limited English and lack of US health insurance: (1) they depend on Korean co-ethnic doctors in the US, (2) they frequently utilize Hanbang (traditional Korean medicine) in the US, and (3) they travel to their South Korean homeland for medical care (i.e., medical tourism).

Sou Hyun Jang, Ph.D., is a post-doc fellow at the University of Washington (UW) and a former research associate at the Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College. She earned her doctoral degree from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) and her master’s degree from Columbia University. Her research areas include Asian Americans, international migration, medical transnationalism, and immigrants’ healthcare behaviors. She has published articles in Sociological Perspectives, Sociology of Religion, and Ethnic and Racial Studies.

Click the link below for a Korean-language version of this announcement:

(한국어) Korean-language Flyer for Dr. Sou Hyun Jang's Seminar)

On Wednesday, July 11, 2018, Dr. Eunjin Lee of Gyeongsang National University in South Korea gave a presentation about "The Modern Interpretation and Application of Korean Traditional Costume (Hanbok)" at Global Leadership Foundation (GLF), located at 46-20 Parsons Blvd, Flushing, NY 11355.

Dr. Eunjin Lee discussed how hanbok (Korean traditional costumes) are utilized both in South Korea and abroad in a contemporary context. She examined in detail different types of hanbok designs that have been recently used in the work of Korean and foreign textile/clothing designers. In addition, Dr. Lee talked about some of the recent changes that have been happening regarding hanbok, such as it being worn as daily wear, as well as the recent trend of teenagers and Koreans in their twenties utilizing hanbok as a form of play culture (for example, in Korean historic folk villages, palaces, and famous shopping districts such as Insa-dong and Gwangju Art Street, people can rent hanbok by the hour so they can take "period" pictures in front of historic architecture and other picturesque settings).

Dr. Eunjin Lee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Clothing and Textiles at Gyeongsang National University in South Korea. She earned her Ph.D. in Clothing and Textiles from Ewha Womans University in Seoul, and her research areas include traditional Korean costume, traditional Oriental/Asian costume, traditional textiles of Asia, and culture and costumes.

Last Wednesday, May 23, 2018, Dr. Yoonsun Choi of The University of Chicago gave an interesting and well-attended talk about "Growing Up Korean American (코리안 어메리칸으로 성장하기)" at Global Leadership Foundation (GLF) in Flushing, Queens. Approximately 40 people attended the talk, and there was a lively and interesting Q & A session and discussion after the lecture.

Dr. Choi showed how Korean cultural traditions are maintained among the immigrant parent generation, but also how some of these traditions persevere among the second-generation youth. She presented longitudinal research that showed some of the complexities involved in Korean immigrant parents raising U.S.-born children. Some of her findings illustrated the huge cultural gap that often exists between Korean immigrants and second-generation Korean Americans, particularly regarding educational and occupational achievement and self-esteem and other psychological issues. However, she also emphasized that many Korean-American youth show an integrated bicultural identity despite being socialized in the U.S. and "growing up American." She suggested that Korean immigrant parents should make a greater effort to understand the difficulties that their U.S.-born children face as racially othered Americans, rather than simply pushing too hard and being too strict.

Yoonsun Choi is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Her fields of special interest include minority youth development; effects of race, ethnicity, and culture in youth development; children of immigrants; Asian American youth; and prevention of youth problem behaviors.

On Wednesday, March 28, 2018, we hosted our first seminar of 2018. Dr. Oug Ja Kim gave a talk on "North Korean Artists and North Korean Art Before and After the Korean War" at Global Leadership Foundation (GLF), located at 46-20 Parsons Blvd, Flushing, NY 11355.

Dr. Kim talked about the stories of two groups of Korean painters who ended up taking different paths during the turmoil in the Korean peninsula after Korean independence from Japan, which was followed shortly thereafter by the division of Korea into North and South. One group of artists moved to the south, while the other migrated to the north. She broadly discussed the political history of North Korea while explaining the role played by North Korean painters (who moved from the south) in the formation of North Korean art history. She also showed numerous examples of North Korean art during her presentation.

Dr. Oug Ja Kim has conducted research on education and the culture of North Korea, with a focus on the North Korean power elite. In particular, her doctoral dissertation examined the background and cultivation of North Korean power elites by focusing on Mankyung Revolutionary Academy. Dr. Kim is of our visiting scholars for 2017-2018 at the Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College.

The Director of our Research Center, Professor Pyong Gap Min, recently returned from a very productive trip to South Korea. On Thursday, January 18, 2018, he gave a talk at the South Korean National Assembly about "Generational Progression and Ethnic Attrition in the U.S. Korean Community." The event was co-organized by the Association for Studies of Koreans Abroad and the Office of Assemblymember Jeong Dong-yeong. Professor Jaegi Kim, a former RCKC Visiting Scholar, is President of the Association for Studies of Koreans Abroad. The Research Center for Overseas Korean Business and Culture at Chonnam University and the National Youth Policy Institute co-sponsored the seminar. Approximately 50 people, including members of the South Korean National Assembly, other government-funded research institutes, and various Korean scholars attended the event. The seminar was organized so the RCKC could request financial support from the South Korean government.

On Tuesday, January 23, 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was established between the RCKC and the National Youth Policy Institute (NYPI) in Sejong City, South Korea. As part of the mutual agreement on the exchange of research and cooperation, the RCKC and NYPI have agreed to (1) exchange staff members, (2) conduct joint research projects and studies, and (3) collaborate on seminars, conferences, and symposiums. Two of the RCKC's former visiting scholars, Dr. Hyeon-chul Kim and Dr. Heejin Lim, work for NYPI. After the MOU was established, Professor Min gave a talk on "The Movement to Promote the Korean Language in American Schools in the New York-New Jersey Area" at the National Youth Policy Institute.

Professor Min returned to the U.S. late last week after a productive trip. We would like to thank the Association for Studies of Koreans Abroad, Professor Jaegi Kim, the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Assemblymember Dong-yeong Jeong, the National Youth Policy Institute, Dr. Byeongkug Song (President of NYPI), the Research Center for Overseas Korean Business and Culture, Dr. Young-Eon Yim, and Professor Young-sang Yim for their help and generosity during Professor Min's trip.


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