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Making and Faking KinshipMarriage and Labor Migration between China and South Korea$
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Charles D. Freilich

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449581

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449581.001.0001

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Flexible Families, Fragile Marriages

Flexible Families, Fragile Marriages

(p.193) 5 Flexible Families, Fragile Marriages
Making and Faking Kinship

Caren Freeman

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores the range of geographically dispersed family configurations and legally transgressive strategies that Chosŏnjok married couples pursued in exchange for a transnational livelihood in South Korea. It aims to highlight the extraordinary risks that Chosŏnjok were pressured to take with their marital relationships. It presents cases that demonstrate how particular forms of transnational family dispersal engender moral ambiguities and cultural conundrums regarding proper gender roles and responsibilities within the family. Specifically, it looks at how the gendered division of mobile and nonmobile labor in the split transnational household (whether the husband migrates alone, the wife migrates alone, or a married couple migrates together) reinforces, reprioritizes, or reshapes previously taken-for-granted dimensions of conjugal and parent–child relationships.

Keywords:   Chosŏnjok brides, Chosŏnjok women, family, married couples, parent–child relationships, transnational households

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