On this snowy morning I’m thinking about why growing up, my Methodist church youth group would drive 4 hours to hang out with Korean Presbyterians instead of the White Methodist youth groups that were 10 minutes away from us.
A few things on my mind–Nancy Abelmann’s Amerasia article, Russell Jeung’s review of Carolyn Chen’s book on Taiwanese American evangelicals/Buddhists in JAAS [perfect length for reading while your students are taking a stats quiz], the Korean/Korean American community in Oxford…how religion and religious communities are ways of becoming “American” for Asian Americans through citizenship, civic participation, ways of preserving and re-inventing identity in a new land (for our parents) or a place that’s supposedly home (for the second+gen). And what role does higher ed play in all of this?
I think it does play a role, as a sort of incubator of social capital and quasi-leveler of status/site for social mobility. As a place where a lot of second genners decide whether they want to make this faith their own or just see it as the faith of their parents (or for some, discover it for the first time). Pan-ethnicity! Just some rough thoughts and dots that I’d like to connect in the future.