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Tamara Nopper and Causes of Korean Immigrant Entrepreneurship (Research Paper)

Tamara Nopper has debated on causes of Korean immigrant entrepreneurship. She has effectively explained the factors behind the success of Korean business. There are lending and business promotions provided by financial and government institutions along with the presence of family and kin networks (Park). There is a resonance between Nopper’s study and results of US small business administration. Nopper has extensively suggested the group traits as a factor responsible for the Korean immigrant entrepreneurship. But studies do not support this theory and they provide a number of explanations for the propensity of Asian/ Korean regarding self-employment. Korean immigrant entrepreneurship can be the result of class resources and not as a result of their traditional culture.

A disadvantage theory also not successfully explained the reasons for Korean immigrant entrepreneurship. According to this theory, due to the differences on the demand side, there are also differences in compensation. Due to the differences in compensation, workers do not like to work in one segment of the industry but they prefer to go to the other segment of the industry to earn better while working there. Thus, this theory is explaining the reason for avoiding of low wage employment by Korean workers and the establishment of privately owned business by these people. This process was started when Korean immigrants starting taking loans from banks but unfortunately, there are no history of thee transactions that can confirm this. When more and more people started taking loans, their cam restriction on loans and as a substitute, people preferred to use their own saving and the assistance from their family and relatives in terms of financial loans. Thus, during that decade, family borrowing was more as compared to bank loans. Non- ethnic banks have traditionally not delivered sufficient credits for minority commerce and trade and as a result of this, there was the establishment of ethnic banks. These banks are specialized to deal certain customers types and these mainly provide loans to small business owners. Another factor that is responsible for the diversity of Korean immigrants is the color blind racism. Officers in these banks are more inclined towards the Korean Americans and do not approve loans based on objectivity as a criterion.

2. (A)

Korean American family and community are known by media and scholars for their educational honors. One main reason for Korean American student’s success is the cultural explanation. Asian cultures values fit fine with American middle-class culture. Parental gravity for elite high schools and college enhancements is of great value (Kim). There are hard work, Confucianism, and value for education as a part of the culture of Korean American families. If a child is not successful in his/her education then it is a source of disgrace for his/her parents in their culture. Parents are also very strategic towards the choice and quality of the school. Even the choice is not limited to the school but it is extended to colleges and graduate schools. For example, Korean parents actively employed their resources to purchase homes in suburban neighborhoods so that their children can get enrolled in hagwons(Kim). Culture provides the good explanation if education achievement but it is silent towards the description of low performance among students.

However, stratification theories have a view that Korean American families have a middle-class status that is a reason for their educational achievement and attainment. Middle-class parents have more chances of use of resources for the purpose of education of their children as compared to working class. If parents are not well economically and structurally then won’t be able to provide required sources for the education of their children. These are not only in terms of financial resources but also moral assistance that children need in order to get higher grades.

For the purpose of upward social mobility, parents make huge investments in the education of their children. In this context, selective migration has also proved as a source for having the quality education of their children. It is found that children with high-status parents perform better in all measures of academic performance because immigrants who enter the United States with high levels of human capital are better able to capitalize on their class resources. It is important to consider the issues of the social context in order to distinguish between the class variability. This theory has been supported by a number of studies. It is reported by Coleman that family socioeconomic status is more linked to children education performance as compared to school-related factors. School-related factors comprise of peer groups as well as homework. Pee groups are a source of enhancement of educational performance of students as these are the primary agent of socialization for these children. If they have a more focus towards having better grades then all group will go towards this aim.

2. (B)

Korean American youth have a wide range of educational experiences as a result of structural factors of the family that include their income, parental education level as well as access to schooling resources(Lew). In the context of income, it is observed that middle-class students in opposite to poor and working-class students are more probable to attain success in school. The reason of this can be their socioeconomic variability within co-ethnic networks that determine their educational strategies. For example, students who are academically showing good performance and are studying at magnet high school, have parents that are entrepreneurs. These parents also have more knowledge regarding the schools due to their strong association with their first-generation co-ethnic networks. With the social networks from ethnic entrepreneurship, it is possible for this community to get more jobs that have a main role in reinforces values and promotion of education (Lew). These networks are responsible for sure social norms and values that are helpful to school achievement. In Coleman and Hoffer (1987) terms, it is referred to a closed functional community.

On contrary, a single-parent household is a reason for Korean high-school dropouts. These Korean high school dropouts also understood that education is significant. Magnet high-school students have a focus towards common benefits as well as goals along with their parents. These children have the opportunity of gaining significant information regarding schooling and colleges due to being surrounded by first-generation parental grids. For instance, students at the magnet high school have an opportunity of officially having a college counselor all through their school academic life. The counselor is responsible for analyzing students’ school records, their GPA as well as their extracurricular activities in order to suggest them the stable school. Moreover, these counselors not only provide guidance on schooling and the college-application procedure to students but these are bilingual counselors who are also responsible for providing information to first-generation immigrant parents regarding the U.S. educational system. On the other hand, high-school dropouts have a focus towards divergence and cultural cracks between students and their parents.


Kim, Sharon article, “Shifting Boundaries within Second-Generation Korean American Churches” looks at the stress among recently formed second-generation Korean American churches in Los Angeles over its ethnic limitations. During the study, there were 108 interviews and 22 churches were observed. The study is focusing on the second generation churches effectively by documenting their current stage of experimentation and transition. The results of the study show that some pastors have a desire for their churches to continue largely as Korean American as in their opinion the church is the major establishment that can preserve Korean culture and then can transfer this to succeeding generations (Kim). While some other pastors were of view to spread their church boundaries in order to include all Asian Americans. There is a weakness in this study that it is discussing the Shifting Boundaries within Second-Generation Korean American Churches only with respect to Los Angeles and then generalizing the results. This study should be expanded to other states and must account t for the differences that might be present there.

Min, Pyong Gap and Dae Young Kim article, “Intergenerational Transmission of Religion and Culture’ is analyzing the extent to which Korean Protestant immigrants in the United States have diffused their religion and cultural changeovers through creed. There was closed-ended telephone survey with 200 people and there was the use of random sampling(Min and Kim). The results of the study are based on a survey of 1.5 and 2nd generation Korean American adults and these are showing that Korean Protestant immigrants are extremely fruitful in conveying their church- oriented style of Protestantism to the second generation. To further support the results of the study, results of the previous studies are also included in the pape(Min and Kim). The use of previous studies was focusing on the second generation Korean American Protestants and Korean English language congregations as eager. The focus of the paper is towards the use of those results that past studies were suggesting. The focus should be on the primary search in order to get the validity and reliability of the results improved.

4. (A).

On April 29, 1992, protests exploded in Los Angeles after four white police officers were guiltless of the ruthless thrashing of Rodney King. Rodney kings along with two passengers were going towards the west on the Foothill freeway. There was a traffic stop attempted by California highway patrol and as a result of high stopped. This was treated by the king in such a way that those police officers were severely beaten by the king orders. The situation got worsens as a result of the videotape of the incident that became public and it was showing the king standing beside the workers who were beating the police officers. The reason that this incident was a source of violence is the ethnicity. The tape was showing the beating of an unarmed black man by white officers.

After the view of this tape by the public in Los ageless, there was violence and dispute in L.A that turned to ferocity. Traffic was blocked by protestors in south-central Los Angeles and there was a looting of abundant center stores and shops and more than 100 building were at the fire. This crisis is shown by mainstream media as an ethnic conflict between African American and Korean American. But the fact is that it was much more than a simple conflict. During this crisis, Latinos were among largest segment of the population who were arrested during the crisis. Korean immigrant merchants in South Central were also affected by the crisis when the violence-hit their business. For example, on the second day of the crisis, violence spread as heavy looting and there were fires across LA country. Stores that were targeted during the crisis were mostly of Korean immigrants. The loss to Korean owned property was between $350 and $400 million. Even the violence with respect to Korean immigrants was so severe that almost everything during the crisis was destroyed in Korea town. It can be said that half of the business of these Korean immigrants was destroyed even the first reported attack was at Korean shop. During the crisis, police also left the Korean town and people took security into their own hands.


The U.S is moving towards a culture that is allocated four-fold by color and these are White, African Americans, Latinos as well as Asian Americans. There are numerous incidents that have highlighted tensions among these groups. One such incident is 1992 unrest, which is broadly described as a black Korean battle. During the unrest, economic and social justice was demanded by African American and they pointed towards the unfair distribution of development projects. Korean was considered as a substitution for white people at that time. The crisis was very severing but it’s after effects were more server. There were not only blacks, Koreans and whites involved but Latinos were also included. Thus, LA unrest revealed racial culpability lines among ethnic minorities that include Korean, Central American as well as Mexicans. These inequalities are not a result of their biological inheritance but these are the result of their contemporary society as well as economic and educational circumstances.

The unrest of 1992, elevated important queries about the present and future state of race associations in Los Angles and it is also important as it is one of the most important metropolia and its effects would be severed in case of further damage happened here due to any crisis. While assessing the causes of the tension that emerged as a result of the main incident in 1992, it was seen that only possible causes were conventional black and white racial background. These views were not static and showed until present day. Furthermore, there are numerous studies in the literature that examine the association between Latino- Korean in terms of Korean settler’s merchants. There is a disadvantage of this perspective that this only examines the association in terms of cultural similarities among both groups. But cultural similarities are not enough to address the link between two communities. This is due to the reason that black Korean tension is not presented due to cultural differences but due to different sociopolitical practices in the United States. Moreover, the role of class is also significant and middle class immigrates merchants have crucial role. These Korean immigrants are not capitalists but these are self-employed. But still there are complaints among customers regarding their quasi-class relations. Korean immigrants are not treated as U.S citizens although these are legal residents.

These Korean merchants have active Mexicans workers in Los Angeles as an alternate to co-ethnic manual labor. This shift is seen as a costly self-employment by ethnic groups. Thus, there is still a huge addiction of Latino workers for the purpose of employment. Before the crisis, there were more Latino employees as compared to black employees. This can be due to the reason that it is believed that Korean American brings positive effect on their neighborhood. This positive change can be the result of the cultural similarities and mutual benefits that are the result of the employee and owner relationships. But this explanation is not sufficient and it can be more affectedly described by considering the level of social structure. In Los Angeles there is more economic diversity as a result of the fact there is more strength of Latino population present there. There are numerous similarities between Korean immigrants and Korean Americans. The one is the use of language. Both face difficulty in communication with the use of English as a language. As it is not their first language thus both need the struggle to learn and then communicate effectively.

Works Cited

Kim, Dae Young. “The pursuit of elite high schools and colleges among second-generation Korean Americans.” (2011).

Kim, Sharon. “Shifting boundaries within second-generation Korean American churches.” Sociology of Religion 71.1 (2010): 98-122.

Lew, Jamie. “A Structural Analysis of Success and Failure of Asian Americans: A Case of Korean Americans in Urban Schools.” Teachers College Record (2007).

Min, Pyong Gap, and Dae Young Kim. “Intergenerational transmission of religion and culture: Korean Protestants in the US.” Sociology of Religion 66.3 (2005): 263-282.

Park, Kyeyoung. “Sources and resources of Korean immigrant entrepreneurship.” Critical Sociology 36.6 (2010): 891-896.





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