Feminist Critiques of the Multiculturalism and the Case of South Korea: Marriage Migrants, Patriarchy, and Nation-Building
Feminist critiques of multiculturalism have largely focused on group rights by looking at multicultural societies that are based on pluralism. However, in some countries of new immigration, such as South Korea, multiculturalism does not necessarily have a pluralist form, but instead pursues assimilation. Thus South Korea provides an opportunity to explore gendered aspects of multiculturalism in a different context from that upon which the existing feminist critiques are largely based. What are the gendered aspects of South Korean multiculturalism? In this study I address this question by looking at policies designed particularly for female marriage migrants. I argue that the aim of these policies is to make such migrants contribute to South Korea’s multicultural nation-building process through their reproductive, care-giving, and symbolic functions in the idealized Korean family and that patriarchy is reinforced in the implementation of these policies. This reinforcement of patriarchy has resulted in a perpetuation of gender inequality. Looking at the ways in which the South Korean government uses female marriage migrants as instruments in its nation-building process expands the current scope of feminist critiques of multiculturalism.