Recent Status of Marriage-Based Immigrants and Their Families in Korea
Foreign wives were never a visible social group in Korea until recently. Korean society has experienced a fast-growth in international cross-border marriage during the past few decades. Marriage migration across borders has come to be pervasive in Asia and other regions. A large group of young women from Southeast Asian countries, who reside in Korea as workers and brides, have also received increasing attention from scholars and policy-makers because marriage immigrants have emerged as an important social issue in contemporary Korean society. From the 1990s, a steady increase in the visibility of immigrant foreign spouses and immigrant laborers in Korea has had an unsettling effect on the long-held image of the perceived homogeneity of Korean society. This study tries to analyze important phenomena current in the upsurge of international marriages in South Korea. First, it examines the recent trend in the state of marriage-based immigrants and their families. Second, the study seeks to delineate their basic socio-cultural needs by analyzing data collected by a nationwide sample survey conducted in 2006 by three sociologists, Drs. Seol, D.H., Lee, H.K. and Cho, S.N. under a grant from the Ministry of Gender Equalities in South Korea. The study thus tries to capture actual living conditions of marriage-based immigrants and their families in Korea, focusing on those factors deemed to be a prerequisite for long-term policy measures towards their successful social integration.
KeywordsKorean Woman Southeast Asian Country Male Immigrant Female Immigrant Vietnamese Woman
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