Preserving Ethnicity through Religion in America explores the factors that may lead to greater success in ethnic preservation. Pyong Gap Min compares Indian Americans and Korean Americans, two of the most significant ethnic groups in New York, and examines the different ways in which they preserve their ethnicity through their faith. Does someone feel more “Indian” because they practice Hinduism? Does membership in a Korean Protestant church aid in maintaining ties to Korean culture?
Pushing beyond sociological research on religion and ethnicity which has tended to focus on whites or on a single immigrant group or on a single generation, Min also takes actual religious practice and theology seriously, rather than gauging religiosity based primarily on belonging to a congregation. Fascinating and provocative voices of informants from two generations combine with telephone survey data to help readers understand overall patterns of religious practices for each group under consideration. Preserving Ethnicity through Religion in America is remarkable in its scope, its theoretical significance, and its methodological sophistication.
"College and graduate students and their teachers who focus on the sociology of religion and ethnicity and Asian American studies will glean much from this work."-Jerry Z. Park,Sociology of Religion
"A persuasive book...a fine piece of social science, and a positive contribution to our literature."-Rhys H. Wililams,Journal of Asian American Studies
"Pyong Gap Min lives up to his stellar reputation as a pioneer and preeminent scholar of Asian American society...Min's latest book is a fresh take on the study of immigrant religions in the United States...This landmark study is sure to spur further research and become a foundatino for many ethnic studies, religion, and sociology courses in the future"
-Karen Chai Kim,The Journal of Asian Studies
“A well-crafted comparative study of immigrant religious life and spiritual practices among Korean Protestants and Indian Hindus in the United States based on quantitative survey data and in-depth interviews. It advances a compelling theoretical account about the relationship between religious diversity and immigrant adaptation—a must-read book on the sociology of religion.”
-Min Zhou,co-editor of Contemporary Chinese America: Second Edition
“The book, based on Pyong Gap Min’s exhaustive study of Korean Protestant and Indian communities in the New York area, shows how these ethnic groups move in two different directions regarding religion and ethnicity: the Koreans tend to separate ethnicity and religion as they integrate into society, increasingly stressing the latter, while the Indians maintain their ethnicity through their Hinduism, although with looser religious attachments in the second generation.”-Religion Watch
“Min’s findings on two groups of Asian Americans make a very significant contribution to the literature in the sociology of religion, which hitherto has largely focused on the religious experience of European immigrants. All in all, it is an important book for studies of Asian-American immigrants and is an essential reading for courses in race and ethnicity, Asian-American Studies, and sociology of religion.”- The Review of Korean Studies
“Pyong Gap Min here exhibits all the methodological skill and interpretive nuance we have come to expect from the foremost sociologist of Asian American religion. . . . The book is a tour de force, one that will cause us to re-evaluate several things we have long thought we knew about how religion shapes ethnicity and vice-versa. The writing is clear and jargon-free, and the narrative is rich in human detail.”
-Paul Spickard,University of California, Santa Barbara