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Biological & Biomedical Sciences
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Entrepreneurial Activities in America Specifically Los Angeles (Term Paper Sample)


Discuss anthropology

Starting from 1975 to 1982, many immigrants from Korea ventured into the entrepreneurial activities in America more specifically in Los Angeles. Their start of businesses helped so much to reduce crimes in streets, develop public education and to make the neighborhoods more stable in America. It was discovered that the large population of the Korean immigrants engaged in business activities compared to the people of America. The Koreans who were who considered themselves as underemployed were in possessions of the necessary ethnic resources, motivation, education and the capital to embark on the activities of buying and selling goods and services with the aim of making profits to sustain them (Park). This act of Koreans engaging in self-employed activities was an impact of the ties which came up between America and Korea and led to many Koreans migrating to the United States starting from around 1960 extending to late 1970s. It is noted that America contributed much to the Korean’s entrepreneurial activities in its capitalist economy by exporting military power, technology and capital to different parts around the world.
The United States has greatly contributed to the Korean advancement and development of the economy by improving investment activities, trade dealings, providing military help and providing a favorable environment for economic growth. The US also gained much from the Korean labor which was considered cheap by engaging in importation of cheap goods, subcontracting and facilitating direct investments with them. The Koreans’ social features which were known to be ethnic resources is what the owners of businesses gained from in the execution of their entrepreneurial activities. The Koreans were known to have material and cultural resources which they applied to stimulate businesses in the United States like personal wealth, private property, attitudes, bourgeois values and the knowledge to start and maintain businesses (Park). The Koreans had a great support for each other and this was observed in many cases where they collectively pulled their resources together and worked in groups to ensure development and sustainability of their businesses. These people worked very hard and could accept low wages without complaining much, an indicator of cultural orientation in their undertakings in the United States. The capitalist economy or rather the free economy of America gave the Koreans an enabling environment to engage in business activities without many restrictions from the government and this created ethnic bourgeoisie among them.
The 1992 Los Angeles war caused a lot of disturbance to the Korean immigrants merchants in the United States by exposing class divisions in the area of race. Conflicts between the natives and conflicts and majority and minority classes deepened and brought about a lot of fear and distrust among the affected groups of people more so the Koreans who suffered great losses in their businesses. The riots acted as what was referred to as the turning point in the life of Korean Americans by changing their lives ideologically, psychologically and economically in the United States. A survey was conducted shortly after the riots and it was discovered that during the war, people damaged, looted and burned down 2280 stores belonging to the Koreans which was an equivalent of $400 million loss (Ong, Suzanne). Close to 40% of the Koreans who were in ownership of businesses responded that their plan was to leave Los Angeles. It was also reported that close to 50% of businesses belonging to the Koreans were in an extremely hard financial situation. The Koreans also suffered much because the war ended up disrupting the stability of their relationships in families by separating many members of many families where some were killed and others were forced to escape for their safety.
Many Koreans also reported being treated with a lot of brutality by the police and one Korean who was interviewed responded that one can never understand the meaning of being a minority group until he/she really becomes one. The police were all over Los Angeles with guns and other beating up people and shooting others in attempts bring the war to an end. Many other business owners complained that the police did not play their roles effectively because they were not in a position to stop looting activities. Some respondents said that the police could watch as their shops were being broken into and looted and they considered that as a great sign of discrimination against the Koreans (Ong, Suzanne). During the war, the Koreans were both economically and politically disadvantaged. The loss of their businesses later derived many Koreans into poverty because the pivot which they leaned on for their living was greatly destroyed. They suffered hard economic times because many were not able to take their children to schools to continue with their studies. Their influence in politics was also paralyzed because their voice could no longer be heard and they had no powerful people to articulate their grievances and attract the attention of the American government as a way of seeking help to their problems. Many of them felt neglected and when the war ended, they were regarded as the most underrepresented, exploitable and vulnerable group of people in America.
The war was believed to have erupted as a result of ethnic misunderstandings because there existed different groups of people in America like the Latinos, Korean Americans and African Americans among others (KAFFNY). Among the groups that engaged in the war, the Koreans and more specifically the merchants are the ones who incurred the greatest losses defined by destruction of their business stores, damaging of their buildings and great losses where tens of thousands Koreans lost their lives. The war was defined as a multiethnic eruption of discounted which was the first one to be witnessed in history showing the clear positions and stands of all the ethnic groups that existed in America at that time. The Korean merchants lost faith in the Americans and Africans in America at that time and many had given up on doing businesses because they feared that the riots could not be completely brought to an end; instead, they could only be suppressed and reemerge in the future. The economic impact of the war is that it destabilized the American economy to a great extent because the Koreans had contributed much to its growth with their entrepreneurial culture.
After the war, the Koreans’ relationships with the Latinos and the Blacks were greatly transformed in different ways leading to peaceful coexistence among these groups. Politics aimed at reconstruction led to rising of Korean American leaders new generation that was believed to stimulate immediate developments in America. Inter-ethnic and inter-racial collaboration could be realized among the American ethnic groups with the Latino, Asian American, Anglo and the African American leaders seen to facilitate racial consolidation as a tool to embark on reconstruction activities in City Hall and other affected areas. New organizations were formed by these leaders with the main aim of bringing all the people together despite their ethnic backgrounds and cultural beliefs; for instance the Multicultural Collaborative (MCC), Asian Pacific Planning Council (APPCON) and the Asian Americans for a New Los Angeles (APANLA) were created to hold meetings and discuss agendas aimed at reuniting people (Park 110). These organizations created strong platforms for people from different ethnic groups to rise into leadership as politicians without any form of restrictions that depicted acts of discrimination against race and culture.
A generational change manifested where the leadership of old people came to a halt during the 1992 riots and young people who had immigrated to America picked up from there injecting new ideologies and opinions in the American leadership eliminating ethnicity and cultural conflicts. Angela Oh, Cindy Choi, Bong Hwan Kim, Michelle Park Steel and Roy Hong are some o...
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