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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.

Jiwoo Park (PhD, Southern Illinois University) is an assistant professor at the Department of Marketing at Northwood University. Her prior research papers have been presented in national/international conferences, including AAA, ICA, and AEJMC. Her writing has appeared in the International Journal of Advertising, Journal of Children and Media, Journal of Business Ethics, Computers in Human Behavior, and International Communication Gazette.

Dafna Lemish (PhD, Ohio State University) is a professor and associate dean at the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University, the founding editor of the Journal of Children and Media, and a fellow of the International Communication Association (ICA). She is the author and editor of numerous books and articles on children, media, and gender representations.