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Title:Korean/Korean American adolescents' responses to young adult fiction and media created by Korean/Korean Americans
Author(s):Kim, Eunhyun
Director of Research:Harris, Violet J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Harris, Violet J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Noffke, Susan E.; Moller, Karla J.; Pak, Yoon K.
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Secondary & Continuing Educ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Multicultural children's literature
Reader response study
Multicultural education
Korean/Korean American adolescents
Korean/Korean American youth literature and media
Abstract:Multicultural children’s and young adult literature provides readers with various opportunities: to mirror their lives and reflect the meanings of their own experiences; to gain insight on social issues as well as personal issues; and to enhance cross-cultural awareness. How might Korean/Korean American youth cope with everyday life as a minority or a model minority if they had early and consistent exposure to literature depicting the mirrored experiences of Korean/Korean Americans? Departing from and/or building on the works on critical multiculturalism, reader response studies, and literary/content analysis, this study was to provide ways to understand and gain insight on how Korean/Korean American adolescents read, interpret, and respond to literature, a film, and newspapers about them. This study employed a qualitative multiple case study and an interpretive approach which enriched understanding of life experiences, literary experiences, interpersonal interactions, and complex socio-cultural contexts of six Korean/Korean American adolescents. Data were collected through interviews, participant-observations, written documents, and surveys. The findings revealed that the participants tended to hold positive attitudes toward reading. Circumstances at school and home where reading is encouraged created positive influences on their reading habits and attitudes. The participants’ exposure to the literature and the media provided opportunities to reflect on their own experiences related to the stories, expand their worldviews, increase critical awareness of social issues, enhance understanding of issues and struggles of Korean/Korean Americans, and experience personal transformation. Diverse types of literary responses were produced, such as analytical, personal, intertextual, transparent, and social responses. To construct meaning, the participants actively employed their cultural backgrounds and knowledge, textual features, and personal experiences. In the culturally conscious Korean/Korean American youth literature, identifiable textual features included racial discrimination and prejudices, family relationships, valuing education, identity struggle, and immigrant hardships. The participants could relate the features to personal experiences and cultural backgrounds. Commonalities in their viewpoints existed because they shared membership in the Korean/Korean American community. On the other hand, each participant’s cultural knowledge, experiences, and perceptions contributed to construction of diverse viewpoints on Korean/Korean American lives. The interpretive community created spaces to deepen literary understanding through chances to share their viewpoints, grapple with alternative point of views, and add layers of meanings.
Issue Date:2010-08-20
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Eunhyun Kim
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-08-20
Date Deposited:2010-08

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