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Elusive BelongingMarriage Immigrants and "Multiculturalism" in Rural South Korea$
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Minjeong Kim

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780824869816

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824869816.001.0001

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Clashing at Home

Clashing at Home

(p.81) Chapter Four Clashing at Home
Elusive Belonging

Minjeong Kim

University of Hawai'i Press

To provide a more nuanced understanding of multicultural family relations, Chapter 4 delves into the context surrounding domestic tension and conflicts, especially those related to economic issues. I find that economic anxieties saturate multicultural families in the fissure between the projected image of an economically developed Korea and the lived reality of rural Korean families who receive marriage migrants. The chapter discusses how the so-called “Fairy and the Woodcutter Syndrome”—Korean husbands’ (and family members’) fear that marriage migrants will leave them—combined with economic anxiety, lead them to confine Filipinas physically and financially. The chapter also examines Koreans’ economic culture of frugality (kŭngŏm chŏlyak), which contributes to making homes oppressive for marriage migrants. Finally, it shows how economic anxiety pushes Filipinas out of their homes to exercise their economic agency and facilitate economic integration.

Keywords:   Multicultural families, Domestic relations, Economic anxiety, Frugality

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