Legacies of Struggle: Conflict and Cooperation in Korean American Politics
- Publish Date: 2007-03-27
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Angie Y. Chung
Since the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Koreatown has become increasingly fractured by intergenerational conflict, class polarization, and suburban flight. In the face of these struggles, community organizations can provide centralized resources and infrastructure to foster an ethnic consciousness and political solidarity among Korean Americans. This book analyzes the role of ethnic community-based organizations and the dynamics of contemporary Korean American politics. Drawing on two case studies, the author identifies diverse ways in which community-based organizations negotiate their political agendas and mainstream ties within the traditional ethnic power structures. One organization promotes middle-class ethnic goals through accommodation to immigrant leaders, while the other emphasizes social justice through alliances with outside interest groups. Both cases challenge the traditional assumption that assimilation undermines ethnicity as a meaningful framework for political identity and solidarity in immigrant groups. Legacies of Struggle reveals how community-based organizations create innovative spaces for political participation among new generations of Korean Americans.