Major Department

International Studies


College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2018

Honors Major Advisor

Emily Wentzell

Thesis Mentor

Alyssa Park


This thesis is a literature review of Korean American studies that compares work from the Old Guard (pre-2000s) and the New Guard (post-2000s) with the goal of finding an overarching trend occurring over time. Through analyzing sources from multiple disciplines, I argue that the main trend from the Old Guard to the New Guard is a pulling away from South Korea. As the Korean American Studies field progressed, it found itself needing to create distance between itself and South Korea. Because of how traditional Korean values were overturned and questioned due to immigrating to the United States, Korean Americans claimed an identity as Korean Americans rather than Korean immigrants living in America. I conclude that although the trend from the Old Guard to the New Guard is that of creating distance, moving forward, the trend is bound to change as the Korean American community grapples with its potential exclusiveness and as South Korea becomes more active on the world stage.


diaspora, korean american, asian american, identity

Total Pages

33 pages


Copyright © 2018 Ashley Chong