AN ETHNOGRAPHIC CASE STUDY OF MULTICULTURAL FAMILIES IN SOUTH KOREA: INVESTIGATION OF THE GLOBAL RACISM
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The present study aims to investigate the issue of global racism in the country other than U.S through the lenses of critical race theory. Specially, focusing on the multicultural families which is consist of Korean husbands, Asian immigrant wives, and their biracial/bicultural offspring in rural area of South Korea, this study examines 1) issues of language usage and communication patterns among family members and power relations within family, 2) children of multicultural families' academic performances and related educational issues, and 3) members of multicultural families' experience/perceptions of marginalization and their unique communication strategies to negotiate it. Taking a qualitative approach, three means of data collection were used; 1) participant observations at the homes of the seven multicultural families for approximately three months' time period, 2) 25 audio-taped in-depth interviews and casual conversations with seven Korean husbands, six immigrant wives, eight biracial/bicultural kids, and four Korean tutors who have regularly visited these seven multicultural families for tutoring services as well as drawings of some kids, and 3) casual conversations with community members, along with some conversations I overheard in public places. The major findings of present study revealed that the issues of multicultural families are structural social problem involving racial/ethnic, socio-economic, and educational conflicts within Korean society as well as between Korea and other Asian countries. Specifically, this study revealed that ethnic Korean wives from China and Indonesian wife could not actively teach Chinese or Indonesian to their children at home. Meanwhile, Japanese wives have freely used Japanese with their children at home and, their kids learned Japanese unconsciously. Similarly, ethnic Korean wives from China and Indonesian wife had experienced dominant Koreans' prejudices toward them at workplaces and within their families while Japanese wives were not negatively treated. Lastly, the multicultural family members' communication strategies in interacting with dominant Koreans outside of families were various depending on gender, ethnicity and conditions of families. Overall, this study shows that MCFs' marginalization is closely related to class, and Koreans' prejudices of those immigrant women is based on the economic status of their countries of origin.