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Yu, "China's Korean minority: A study in the dissolution of ethnic identity," 2004

USC thesis in Demography.
August 24, 2009

Yeon Jung Yu, M.A.

Abstract (Summary)
In this thesis, I focus on how Chinese economic reforms and interaction with South Koreans have brought change to the Korean ethnic minority in China's northeast and helped to affirm the Korean ethnic minority's identity as Chinese Koreans.

Until the early 90s, Chinese Koreans maintained their Korean culture, language, traditions, and lineage based on kinship relations. Many scholars predicted that the growing interaction with South Koreans would help Korean ethnics develop a minority society in China while preserving their own language and culture.

My research, however, reveals that a crisis of dissolution has developed among Chinese Koreans. Also, the broad economic gap between Chinese Koreans and South Koreans has caused serious conflicts between the two groups, further reinforcing Chinese Koreans' Chinese heritage. Hence, I conclude that as a result of these factors, the Korean minority in China is assimilating to Chinese society ever more rapidly.

Advisor: Cooper, Eugene