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The question of "Korean-ness" and the legal/political category of "multicultural family"

Abstract : The significant development of intermarriage since the early 1990s in South Korean society has prompted the creation of a new legal/political category: the "multicultural family" (tamunhwa kajok). This new category came to light with the Multicultural Family Support Act of 2008 as well as with the establishment of Multicultural Family Supports Centres, which numbered 171 centers in 2010. Although the creation of the term "multicultural family" was the result of reflection on the already existing discrimination against marginalized foreign groups in South Korea, the legal definition of this category was nonetheless based on the principle of "Korean-ness" and citizenship. The resulting actions of the State, driven by this definition, are to uphold a family-type composed of a Korean man by birth or descent with an immigrant-marriage woman or a naturalized Korean woman. This definition excludes other types of mixed families, such as, for example, a Korean woman with a non-naturalized man or, of two naturalized individuals. This paper proposes to study the logic of exclusion of the South Korean government in this “category of thought of common sense” and thereby, to think about the question of "Korean-ness" inculcated into the Korean family institution by the State with this specific family-type.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 23, 2022 - 9:45:09 AM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 11:58:25 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-03585292, version 1


Kyung-Mi Kim. The question of "Korean-ness" and the legal/political category of "multicultural family". 5e Congrès Réseau Asie-Pacifique, GIS Asie, Sep 2015, Paris, France. ⟨hal-03585292⟩



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