-- Sociologist is a Nationally Recognized Authority on the Asian-American
and Korean-American Experience in the Areas of Entrepreneurship and Religion --
FLUSHING, NY, February 5, 2010—Queens College sociologist Pyong Gap Min, an expert on Asian Americans, and in particular Korean Americans, has been appointed Distinguished Professor of Sociology by the City University of New York (CUNY). His work is now considered the standard reference on the Asian-American and Korean-American experience. With this appointment, Min becomes the twelfth distinguished professor in residence at Queens College. A CUNY Distinguished Professorship is an honor reserved for teachers with records of exceptional performance by national and international standards in their profession.
“Pyong Gap Min is one of the most important scholars in America as he is studying our future—for this new wave of immigrants will no doubt influence our nation and enrich the lives of Americans for generations to come,” says Queens College President James Muyskens.
The author of five books, Min has conducted groundbreaking research on the Korean-American experience that has helped define this area of sociology. In his multi-award-winning book Caught in the Middle: Korean Communities in New York and Los Angeles (1996), he explores the racial dynamics between Korean merchants enmeshed between their often low-income minority customers, Latino employees, and white corporate suppliers. Focusing on the targeting of Korean businesses during the 1992 Los Angeles riots and the 1990 African-American boycott of Korean stores in Brooklyn, Min outlines the Korean community’s response through collective action, political mobilization and other strategies.
Ethnic Solidarity for Economic Survival: Korean Green Grocers in New York City (2008), written while Min held a prestigious Visiting Scholar Fellowship at the Russell Sage Foundation, looked at how a unified boycott over mistreatment of grocers by suppliers at a city wholesale market brought systemic change. In 2010 Min will publish Preserving Ethnicity Through Religion in America: Korean Protestants and Indian Hindus Across Generations. This groundbreaking work, partly based on his study of a Korean-American church and Indian Hindu temple in Queens, examines how Korean Protestant and Indian Hindu immigrants maintain ethnicity through religion in two radically different ways.
Min has edited or co-edited six books, four of which focus on Asian Americans, including Asian Americans: Contemporary Trends and Issues (1995), the first social science anthology on this group. He has also written over 30 journal articles focusing on Asian immigrants and second-generation Asians. Last September he became director of the new Research Center for Korean Community at Queens College. The center promotes research on Korean Americans and disseminates data and information within QC as well as to the Korean community and Korean government.
“When I came to Queens College, I never imagined my career would be marked by this honor,” says Min, a resident of Oakland Gardens. “Over the past 22 years, I have truly enjoyed my academic life here at this multiethnic campus in Flushing, the heart of Korean and Asian enclaves. I am humbled to accept this extraordinary recognition.”
Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY), founded in 1937, is dedicated to the idea that a first-rate education should be accessible to talented individuals of all backgrounds and financial means. Its more than 20,000 students come from over 140 nations and speak scores of languages, creating an extraordinarily diverse and welcoming environment. Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. U.S. News and World Report America’s Best Colleges (2010) ranks Queens College #10 among “Top Public Universities—Master’s (North).” Queens College is also consistently included among America’s 100 Best Value Colleges by the Princeton Review. The college opened its first residence hall in August 2009. Find more info on Queens College at www.qc.cuny.edu.