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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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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Park, Jiwoo, author. | Lemish, Dafna, author. Title: KakaoTalk and Facebook: Korean American youth constructing hybrid identities / Jiwoo Park and Dafna Lemish. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2019. Series: Mediated youth; v. 33 ISSN 1555-1814 (print) | ISSN 2378-2935 (online) Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2019006100 | ISBN 978-1-4331-5728-8 (hardback: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-5729-5 (ebook pdf) | ISBN 978-1-4331-5730-1 (epub) ISBN 978-1-4331-5731-8 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Korean American youth—Ethnic identity. Korean American youth—Social life and customs. Korean Americans—Cultural assimilation. Children of immigrants—Cultural assimilation. Text messaging (Cell phone systems)—Social aspects. | Digital media—Social aspects. Online social networks. | Transnationalism. Classification: LCC E184.K6 P364 2019 | DDC 973/.04957—dc23 LC record available at DOI 10.3726/b15438

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

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