Cam CobbFollow


Ethnicity, the influence of stereotyping – whether it is overt or not - and personal identity intersect on a daily basis. But what is ethnicity? One could argue that it is a flexible idea, or as Weber (1968) notes, a matter of “subjective belief” (p. 389). According to Troper and Weinfeld (1987) “the definition of an ethnic group involves a sense of shared history, real or imagined (p. 106).” I include these two definitions of ethnicity because they both acknowledge the subjective nature of ethnic identity. Reflecting on subjectivity, however, raises questions concerning the interplay between ethnicity and stereotyping. To move beyond generalizations and explore the lived experiences and shared histories of various ethno cultural groups, one may investigate how groups came to form communities in Canada; and then consider the dynamics of the communities themselves.

The aim of this paper is to explore the genesis and development of the Korean-Canadian community in Toronto, and reflect on how historical events and various social forces have impacted on its path, and contributed to its present state. The key segments of this paper include: Perspective; Toronto’s Korean-Canadian community; and institutional completeness.