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Mixed Marriage, Gender and The South Korean State: Two Female Migration Trajectories


Over the last seventy years, the phenomenon of intermarriage in South Korean society can roughly be split into two major phases: its gradual emergence starting in the mid-1940s, and its massive expansion starting in the early 1990s. The first phase brought about the dominant image of a mixed couple composed of a Korean woman and a Western husband while the second phase consisted of that of a Korean man and an Asian wife. This phenomenon led to two main types of female migratory trajectories: Korean women migrating to the country of their Western spouse, and Asian wives migrating into South Korean society. Based on the social representations linked to these female trajectories, migration and diaspora policies targeting these women were set up in the mid-2000s. Assigning a "social identity" to these women, with principles of distinction based both on the opposition between endogamous national marriage and exogamous international marriage and, based on gender, these policies classify them under the label of "woman married to a foreigner" and "woman of multicultural family". This categorization emphasizes not only a politicization of the conjugal space, in so far as it attempts to define the "mixedness" in the family institution, but it also suggests, because of the distinguished appellation of these women according to their origin, a distinction between "national" and "foreigner". This paper proposes to study the link between a "social identity" imposed by family policies and their influence in private life, in order to show how these political categories contribute to reproducing the conditions of the functioning of the mixed family in this society. It will focus mainly on two female migration trajectories: a Korean immigrant woman to the United States and a Vietnamese immigrant woman to South Korea.
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hal-03585374 , version 1 (23-02-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03585374 , version 1


Kyung-Mi Kim. Mixed Marriage, Gender and The South Korean State: Two Female Migration Trajectories: dans le cadre du panel « The Politics of Miscegenation, Mixedness and Multiculturalism : Narratives and Trajectories ». 7e Congrès Asie – ICAS 11, GIS Asie, Jul 2019, Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands. ⟨hal-03585374⟩
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