Education About Asia: Online Archives

Winds of Change: Korean Women in America

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by Diana Yu

SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND: WOMEN’S INSTITUTE PRESS, 1991
356 PAGES + APPENDIX + INDEX

Although the title of this book is a misnomer, it is a fortunate one. Diana Yu’s study of Korean women is not just about Korean women in America. Part One contains substantial and interesting information about the historical as well as current conditions of women in Korea. Part Two considers different groups of immigrants to America, the behavior of both male and female Korean immigrants, and the experiences of the children of immigrants. Since many of the issues discussed are universal, the reader sees Korean women as participants in the global changes in women’s consciousness which have occurred over the last twenty-five years. This book was written only eight years ago, and its historical descriptions are accurate and relevant, yet the behavior and conditions of women living in Korea today have moved observably in the directions advocated by Ms. Yu. When I was in Korea in 1988, for example, I noticed that women would cover their mouths when they smiled (a sign of female modesty, according to this book); yet today, Korean women are not afraid of laughing openly. A small matter, perhaps, but indicative of the immense changes in self-confidence which have taken place in a very short time.