Seminar at the University of Sydney

Social Transformation and International Migration Network
School of Social and Political Sciences
You are cordially invited to attend a Seminar hosted by the Social Transformation and International Migration Network.
Hyun Mee Kim
Yonsei University
Performers of ‘Korean-ness’?: 
The Process of ‘FamilyMaking’ by Vietnamese Women Marriage Migrants in South Korea
Tuesday 3 September 2013
RC Mills Bldg, Room 148
The University of Sydney
No RSVP required.
The South Korean state has since the 1990s played a pivotal role in regulating particular types of migration – especially ‘marriage migration’ – as a means of alleviating the crises of declining birth rates and an aging population, in the hope of restoring balance to the uneven male-to-female ratio in the marriage market. The gender/class/ethnic ideology in state migration policy imagines foreign women as labor power that replaces reproductive labor, and succumbs them under the frame of forming, maintaining, and reproducing the ‘Korean family,’ which is often that of the lower class in both urban and rural areas. Foreign women, especially those from Southeast Asia, have generated a wide range of discourses on multi-cultural society.
My presentation deals with the complex process of ‘a family-making’ among Vietnamese migrant women in South Korea that involves the government’s migration policy, migration-inducing practices of Korean-local commercial brokers and ongoing negotiations among married couples. By looking at migration and transnational connections a Vietnamese woman migrant often undergoes as an emerging agent of family-making in contemporary Korea, this presentation examines the nexuses of neoliberal economic order, crisis of social reproduction both in sending and receiving countries, and migration of reproduction in Asian countries.
Hyun Mee Kim is Professor of the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Graduate Program in Culture and Gender Studies, Yonsei University, South Korea. Her research interests include gender and migration, critical cultural theories; city and human ecology; globalization and labor. She has written articles on diverse migrants coming to South Korea including marriage migrants, asylum seekers and economic migrants. She is the author of Cultural Translation in a Global Era (2005) and has also co-edited Intimate Enemy: How Neoliberalism has become our everyday lives(2010), and We are all people with differences: Towards multiculturalism for co-existence(2013). She was a Committee Member for the Division of Human Rights for Foreigners, National Human Rights Commission of Korea(2008-2010) and is a member of the Forum on Human Rights for Migrant Women in South Korea.
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