Life Satisfaction of the Cross-Border Marriage Migrants in South Korea: Exploring the Social Network Effects

Sojin Yu, University of Maryland

This study examines the recent phenomenon of ‘cross-border marriages’ in South Korea: foreign brides migrating into Korea to get married to Korean bachelors. As opposed to considering the generic ‘causes’ of such marriages (usually assumed to be motivated by factors within the host society), this study addresses the questions of ‘what enables these women to migrate’, and ‘how the methods they use to find their husbands affect the women’s experiences in the hosting country?’ It compares the effect of personal social networks and marriage brokers, finding that social networks show a higher life satisfaction than broker usage. The hypotheses based on social network theory in migration are supported in this study and suggest the importance of social networks for the marriage migrants’ subjective wellbeing throughout the migration ‘process’, from the initial point of entry onward into their lives in the new country of residence.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Marriage, Unions, Families and Households