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Corner Store Video Summary

Course Code
SOC 1100
Linda Gerber

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Korean tradition must marry in order
Live @ home till gets married (learning to cook, learn to take care of household)
Inter-racial couples: fears parents cant handle it
Came to Canada in 1968… daughters bon in Canada
Long hours, lot of work, not a lot of income
Carolyn first child,25,(dental hygienist): felt pressured by parents and “rebelled”, she ran
away for about a year and a half with no contact to family
Parents think shes too independent and she needs to be more obedient
Parents want her married & out of the way
Evelyn & Angela: receiving business scholarships, graduated highschool w/ 90%
- Evelyn, youngest, breaks under stress occasionally. Wants a good job so she can start
giving back to parents
Owning a corner store hasn’t brought much prestige or profit
- Korean community have many morals(cant get divorces, cant be single mother etc.), all
superficial and worried what others in korean community will think
- Young people expected to go to church (mostly to find spouse)
Angela(youngest*) feels closer to Korean friends at school
Takes school very seriously, does very well,
- Korean’s don’t show affection, don’t say I love you or hug mother
- Think father cant compromise, listen, or reason
- Father thinks Carolyn is jealous of sister and has a lot of anger
Toronto is the diversity capital of Canada home to many Koreans, nearly 50,000
according to the video “Scenes From a Corner Store”. The film documents the lives of a
strict Korean family and the struggles/pressures each member feels. The three daughters
in the video Carolyn, Evelyn and Angela, feel great pressure to do well and succeed in
life/education. Carolyn, the oldest, feels as if she is the failure of the family because she
didn’t attend university, even though she has a respectable full time job as a dental
hygienist. Evelyn and Angela are both attending university in pursuit of becoming a
doctor (Evelyn) and a lawyer (Angela). Evelyn speaks of the tremendous pressure she
feels to succeed. She feels burdened knowing that her parents have suffered trying to
keep her and her sisters happy. She wants to become successful so she can give back to
and support her parents financially.
The film displays the First Generation Korean’s views on marriage and that it is very
important to the parents that their daughters marry within the Korean community. The
mother stresses throughout the video that dating in Canada seems to very “casual” and
that kids tend to fall in love too easily, get married too easily, and therefore it will lead to
people getting divorced, which is strictly against Korean morals. It is a Korean tradition
that siblings must get married in order of age. Carolyn believes her parent’s see her as a
failure and want to “marry her off” so she is not a burden to them anymore.
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