26 Int'l Migration Rev. 4 (1992)

handle is hein.journals/imgratv26 and id is 1 raw text is: 


A Comparison of the Korean

Minorities in China and Japan'


Pyong  Gap Min
Queens College, City University of New York


     Approximately  1.8 million Koreans are settled in China and some
     700,000  Koreans are located in Japan. The Korean minorities in two
     neighboring  Asian countries make an interesting contrast in adjust-
     ment  and ethnicity. Whereas the Koreans in China have maintained
     high levels of ethnic autonomy and positive ethnic identity, the Korean
     Japanese have lost much of their cultural repertoire and have suffered
     from  negative ethnic identity. This paper provides a comparative
     analysis, explaining why the Koreans in two countries have made the
     different adjustments. It focuses on the basic differences in minority
     policy between  China and Japan,  the difference in the context of
     migration, the existence or absence of a territorial base, and the
     differential levels of influence from Korea. This comparative analysis
     is theoretically valuable because it has demonstrated that the physical
     and  cultural differences between the majority group and a minority
     group  are not necessary conditions for prejudice and discrimination
     against the minority group.

Minority groups in different societies make different kinds of adjustment.
Some  minority groups, such as African Americans in the antebellum South,
have  lost much of their cultural repertoire and received a high level of
discrimination. Other minority groups have  maintained a high level of
cultural autonomy  and ethnic identity. Social scientists have emphasized
physical and cultural differences between the dominant group and a partic-
ular minority group  in explaining  the pattern of a minority group's
adjustment. First, minorities have been defined as those groups with phys-
ical and cultural characteristics that distinguish them from the dominant
group. For example,  Wirth, one of the few early American theorists on
ethnic relations, defined a minority group as a group of people who,

   I This is a revision of a paper presented at the annual meeting of the Mid-South Sociological
Association, Baton Rouge, October 18-22, 1989. I acknowledge thanks to anonymous reviewers
of International Migration Review for providing helpful comments on the earlier version of this
paper.


4   IMR  Volume xxvi, No. 1

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