Notice of Meeting
Date: Thursday, April 27, 2017
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC Campus, 515 West Hastings Street (between Seymour and Richards Streets) in the Diamond Lounge
Speaker: Bong-Hwan Kim
Topic: A Comparison of Integration Experiences of Korean Canadians in Vancouver and Winnipeg and Their Sense of Belonging and Identity
The purpose of this paper is to understand and measure the integration experiences of Korean immigrants in Vancouver and Winnipeg in terms of their economic, social, and political domains. By comparing the two communities the paper will note the similarities and differences and provide possible answers that may account for the differences. It is important to note that the findings about the Korean immigrants in Vancouver can only be considered tentative for the direct comparison of the two communities is very difficult for the coverage and methods employed are significantly different. The analysis has shown that high levels of the perception of racism felt by Korean immigrants in Winnipeg. Other findings suggest that Korean immigrants in Vancouver are somewhat tentative in their sense of belonging to Canada presumably because of the closer proximity between Korea and Vancouver compared with Winnipeg. Korean immigrants in Vancouver are influenced by the pervasive presence of Korean media, restaurants, shops and other Korean businesses, religious and service organizations, and cultural amenities.
Transnational political activity is minimal judging by the very low voting rates (3.2%) recorded for the Korean general election held on April 5, 2016. It appears that Korean Canadians in Vancouver take full advantage of Canadian citizenship while still maintaining ties to Korea as it suits them best. On the contrary, Korean Canadians in Winnipeg appear to try hard to integrate into Canadian society despite the various barriers confronting them. A brief comparison of the results of this study with the national sample will be presented.
Bong-Hwan is retired from the Government of Manitoba after working as a research and policy analyst for 25 years. He has extensive community service records, including:
- President, Korean Society of Manitoba
- President, Korean Canadian Housing Corporation Inc.
- Vice-president, Folk Arts Council of Winnipeg Inc.
- Ambassador General for Folklorama cultural festival in Winnipeg
- Chair, Refugee Concerns Committee, Winnipeg Presbytery, United Church of Canada
- President, Canadian Evaluation Society, Manitoba Chapter
Bong-Hwan taught sociology at the Graduate Institute of Peace Studies, Kyung Hee University in the Republic of Korea for two fall terms in 2014 and 2016. He earned an M.A. in economics from York University and M.A. in political studies and a Ph.D. degree in Sociology from the University of Manitoba. He is married to his wife Hong Ja and has three married sons and seven grandchildren. He currently serves as a Director of the Korean Senior Citizens’ Society of B.C. and teaches Canadian history at the Korean Seniors’ College.
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