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KakaoTalk and Facebook

Korean American Youth Constructing Hybrid Identities


Jiwoo Park and Dafna Lemish

KakaoTalk and Facebook: Korean American Youth Constructing Hybrid Identities explores the role smartphones play in the lives of Korean American youth as they explore their identities and navigate between fitting into their host society and their Korean heritage. Employing multiple methodologies, this book gives voice to the youth’s personal experiences, identity struggles, and creative digital media practices. While similar in many aspects to other American youth, they also differ greatly in the central roles that their smartphones’ use plays in maintaining their mastery of the Korean language, connecting to Korean pop culture, and cultivating their social networks with other co-ethnic peers and homeland relatives and friends. The results of this study challenge traditional assumptions about assimilation of second generation immigrants into a host society and suggest that digital technologies facilitate the process of segmented assimilation, according to which ethnic identities continue to play a central role in the identity of children of immigrants. KakaoTalk and Facebook will be of great interest to scholars and educators of media and youth and those exploring how digital media have changed the nature of immigration processes in dramatic ways.

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Appendix A: Interview Protocol


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Interview Protocol

Biographical Information: Who Are the Interviewees?

1. Please tell me your current age, place of birth, and number of years you have been in U.S. if you were not born here.

2. How many siblings do you have? Do you have extended family here in the U.S.? Who? Where? Do you have any family in Korea? Who? Where?

3. Which language are you more proficient at, Korean or English? What language do your parents speak? What language do you use at home? In what situations do you speak your secondary language?

4. What do you feel about your Korean fluency and English fluency? Why?

5. What are your parents’ occupations?

6. To what religion, if any, do you belong? Do you practice the religion? In what ways?

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