Minorities in the United States are often caught between two worlds, the culture of their family and ancestors and the culture they are living in today. Since minorities and internationally adopted Americans are either born or have spent the majority of their lives in the United States, many experience difficulty in feeling connected to their original culture. Even so, Asian Americans are considered to be minorities in the United States, regardless of birthplace and length of time in the country. By using ten semi-structured, open-ended qualitative interviews to collect data, I explore the music preferences of 1.5+ generation[1] and adopted Korean Americans and how these contribute to the ways they perceive themselves and their identity as a racial and ethnic minority in the United States. Through employing a theoretical framework composed of the works of Omi and Winant (1986, 1994), Gans (1979), Waters (1996), Stets and Burke (2000), and Stryker (1994), I seek to answer the following research questions: “What factors affect a person’s racial and ethnic identity?” and “Does a 1.5+ generation or adopted Korean American’s racial and ethnic identity affect their preferences in music?” In the end, I discovered many of the factors that encompass a person’s Korean American identity, and how their racial and ethnic identity affected their preferences of K-Pop music. The more a person is exposed to Korean culture, the more likely they are to identify as Korean American. The more a person identifies with their Korean culture, the more likely they are to listen to K-Pop music or have listened to the genre in the past.

[1] People who immigrate to a country prior to the age of twelve


Guillén, Jennifer


Sociology and Anthropology


Race and Ethnicity


Race, Ethnicity, Identity, Music Taste, K-Pop, Korean, Korean American, Asian American

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2015 Lara Sinangil