The first emigration of Korean’s occurred in the eighth century when they immigrated to Japan because of famine, high government taxes and natural resources. Towards the end of 19th century, few Koreans moved to the US. Initially, only three political refugees migrated in 1885, followed by five others in 1899. Five years later, 64 Koreans joined them to attend theological institutions in Hawaii and were later repatriated upon completion of their studies. The Japanese and Chinese were among the major workers working in Hawaii but were not allowed to work in the US.
The aggressive marketing strategy saw Hawaii as the journey to the top where in 1905, over 7000 mainly bachelors had been recruited plantations of which only 2000 made it back to their families because of the expensive lifestyle of Hawaii. The Japanese government was angered by increasing Korean migration to the US, and banned further migration from peninsula in 1905. This relaxed in 1907 by the Gentlemen Agreement Act that allowed Korean husbands to join their wives in the US. Education History of American Koreans
The American Korean education history started in 1907 and 1923 majority being students and political refugees who escaped assassination from the oppressive Japanese government. Notable among the political refuges was Syngman Rhee became the first president of South Korea. He emigrated as a student and graduated with a doctorate from the famous Princeton University in 1910 and later launched a protest against the government of Japan. He later escaped to US when he was hunted to be arrested. Migration rules became stringent allowing only women and the quota system was introduced by the US that restricted more 150 Koreans per year.
Immigration rules were twisted to give preference to professionals, with technical skills where Korean women who were married to American military were naturalized following McCarran-Waltern 1952 act. The 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act phased out the quota system where by Rules were relaxed and gave preference to Koreans with relatives in American and to professionals. Their education was highly valued and encouraged. Students were put under pressure to excel in academics to increase their chances of employment. In 1980 the figure of Korean American’s who were over 25 years of age with a high school education stood at 78.
1% against an overall 65% for all Americans. About 33. 7% were four year college graduates against a low of 16. 2 for the whole US population. Korean Americans have been known to do well in sciences but they still perform better in other subjects. American Koreans have grown significantly to 1. 3 million at the beginning of this century. Cultural stereotypes propagated through generations have effectively contributed to this gender imbalance in educational training and employment. Women have had to content with domestic chores whereas society has exempted men from such responsibilities.
The job market has greatly discriminated Korean American women despite their high professions as doctors, teachers, lawyers and engineers which resorted to working as typists, cashiers, clerks especially in textile industries Language barrier contributing being perceived passivity. During the migration they were barred from taking formidable employment in the US by restrictive discriminatory rules on citizenship leading to lower paying jobs as waiters, houseboys, janitors which were poorly remunerated and some ended up opening up private businesses.
Sample Research questions From the history of American Koreans above the following research questions come up 1. How has Korean culture and religion been influenced by American Korean education? 2. How did culture, language and education affect Korean immigrants in employment? 3. Has western education benefited American Koreans? 4. How has cultural stereotypes affected education among American Korean women? 5. What is the perception on Korean American in their home country?