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Caring Across GenerationsThe Linked Lives of Korean American Families$
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Grace J. Yoo and Barbara W. Kim

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814768976

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814768976.001.0001

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Linked Lives

Linked Lives

Where Do We Go from Here?

(p.165) 6 Linked Lives
Caring Across Generations

Grace J. Yoo

Barbara W. Kim

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the intergenerational costs and benefits of linked lives, and especially how adult children of aging Korean immigrants find meaning through caring across lifetimes, while functioning at maximum capacity. It considers the model minority image within the context of the social, cultural, political, and familial pressures that come with the responsibility to care for immigrant parents. It also examines how immigrant children find meaning in care work based on their parents' histories and sacrifices and shows that they were able to adapt and learn how to be flexible and balance caring for themselves and others as their aging parents grow more reliant on others. Furthermore, it explores how the role of Korean Americans as an intergenerational bridge could be extended to supporting a social reform agenda focused on aging and health care. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the policy implications and the importance of community and support in the face of the cultural, political, and structural challenges facing older Korean immigrants and their adult children.

Keywords:   linked lives, Korean immigrants, model minority image, immigrant parents, immigrant children, care work, aging parents, Korean Americans, social reform, health care

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