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Travel motivations, information search behavior, and ethnic identity development among 1.5 generation Korean American college students

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Title: Travel motivations, information search behavior, and ethnic identity development among 1.5 generation Korean American college students
Author(s): Kim, Jungeun
Director of Research: Stodolska, Monika
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Stodolska, Monika
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Wicks, Bruce E.; Son, Julie S.; Abelmann, Nancy A.
Department / Program: Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Discipline: Recreation, Sport, and Tourism
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Travel Motivation Travel Information Search Behavior Diaspora Tourism Ethnic Identity 1.5 Generation Korean American College Students
Abstract: This research project was designed to explore (1) the ethnic identity achievement/ retention of 1.5 generation Korean American college students prior to their most recent travel to Korea; (2) their travel motivations for their most recent trip to Korea; (3) their information search behavior for their most recent trip to Korea; (4) the relationship between ethnic identity retention/achievement, travel motivations, and travel information search behaviors; and (5) the impacts of their most recent trip to Korea on their ethnic identity development. In order to accomplish these goals, this study employed 18 in-depth semi-structured interviews with Korean American college students who were registered at the University of Illinois at the time of the study. The data collection was conducted between December 2010 and February 2011. The findings of the study revealed that 1.5 generation Korean American college students exhibited different levels of ethnic identity achievement prior to their most recent trip to Korea and described themselves as either Koreans, Korean Americans, or Americans. Although all participants mentioned that visiting friends and families were important motivations for travel to the home country, in general the motivations of those who described themselves as Korean were somewhat different from motivations of those who considered themselves to be Korean American or American. Few differences in the travel information search behavior were revealed among interviewees with different types of ethnic identity achievement and motivations for travel to Korea. Interestingly, for all participants, most of the search behavior took place at the destination. Moreover, no clear relationship was found between planning behavior, language of the information sources, and the level of ethnic identity retention. Travel to Korea played important roles in (re)developing ethnic identity among 1.5 generation Korean American college students. Those who identified themselves as Korean prior to the trip either confirmed their ethnic identity or changed their identity to Korean American. Those who considered themselves Korean American retained their ethnic identity, while those who thought of themselves as American altered their identity to Korean as a result of the travel and other environmental factors related to the college setting and their Korean peer group.
Issue Date: 2011-08-25
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/26042
Rights Information: © 2011 Jungeun Kim
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-08-25
Date Deposited: 2011-08
 

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