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This study responds to the need to investigate the lives of secular migrants where religious marginalization may play a significant role in their everyday lives. Through a qualitative approach, this exploratory study examines the experiences of secular and religiously marginalized Korean Americans in relation to their predominantly Christian communities. In particular, the study focuses on the unique experiences of those aged between 25 and 35 living in the greater Boston area. The study compiles vivid narratives of non-Christian Korean American experiences within a dominant Christian ethnic community focusing on their religious and non-religious performances.

The overall objectives of this study, then, are: 1. To contribute to the literature on ethnic religious communities by achieving a more nuanced understanding of those who belong to marginalized religious groups and those who do not belong to any religious organizations. To understand how dominant ethnic religious communities affect and shape immigrants’ everyday lives; 2. To understand how the religious marginalization of secular and non-Christian Korean Americans affects their identification with the wider Korean community and shapes their everyday lives; 3. To examine how the identities of secular and non-Christian Korean Americans change and mature over time and in different social contexts due to religious marginalization.


Institute for Asian American Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston



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