The Experience of Korean Immigrant Women Adjusting to Canadian Society

Jaeyoung Choi, Kaysi Eastlick Kushner*, Judy Mill, Daniel W. L. Lai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The acculturation process is an important factor in the experience of all immigrants. Although previous studies have indicated the challenges faced by Korean immigrants, little attention has been paid to Korean women’s immigration experiences. A focused ethnography was used to examine midlife and older Korean immigrant women’s experiences following their immigration to Canada. Fifteen women were interviewed in a city in Western Canada. The findings showed that in coming to Canada, women focused on caring for their children and often sacrificed their personal dreams. They had to be employed to support their families, and received support from family and government. Women participated regularly in a Korean Church and drew on their Christian faith to ease their adjustment. They retained hopes for the future including good health and a better life for their children. Most women indicated that it was difficult to integrate into Canadian society but they never gave up on their adjustment to a new culture. In this manuscript, the adjustment experience of the immigrant women is discussed in the context of an acculturation framework. The findings will enhance health professionals’ awareness of adjustment patterns and associated challenges to Korean immigrant women’s quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277–297
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
Issue number3
Early online date7 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014

User-Defined Keywords

  • Korean immigrant women
  • Acculturation
  • Berry’s model
  • Employment
  • Focused ethnography
  • Canada


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