Presenters: Joong-Hwan Oh (Hunter Sociology)
Time: Wednesday, May 7, 12pm – 1:30pm
Location: Room 1631, Hunter West, Hunter College, 695 Park Ave., New York, NY 10065
Immigration and Social Capital in the Age of Social Media: Posting American Social Institutions on a Korean American Women’s Online Community.
Joong Oh (Hunter Sociology)
One of the key challenges for many immigrants in their new land is to understand how the social institutions of their host country work. Language barriers and their inexperience as newcomers can be attributed to their lack of knowledge about the social institutions of the host country. More importantly, their difficulty can become more intensified when each of the social institutions of the host country is too vague, or too complicated, for them to identify its formal or informal rules, policies, programs, or standards. In this book, my perspective on the social institutions of the host country is largely in the regulative or legal framework. Thus, my first argument in this book is that to many immigrants, different social institutions in the host country can be seen as different rule settings. Despite the complexity of the host country’s social institutions, some immigrants will strive to find ways to enhance their knowledge or understanding about their host country’s social institutions. This point is also important in this book. In other words, my second argument in this book is that ethnic immigrants’ online social networks offer them an important platform to improve their knowledge or understanding about their host country’s social institutions. The social institutions that this book focuses on primarily are American immigration, welfare, education, housing, and financial institutions. In this book, both of my arguments are specifically examined through the scrutiny of a Korean-American women’s online network, called the “MissyUSA” online community, which is also known as one of the largest Korean-American online communities in the U.S.