Migration and Diasporas
The phenomenon of intermarriage in South Korean society can be split into two phases: its emergence from the mid-1940s, and its expansion from the early 1990s. The first phase brought about the dominant image of a mixed couple composed of a Korean woman and a Western husband while the second phase consisted of that of a Korean man and an Asian wife. This phenomenon led to two main types of female migratory trajectories: Korean women migrating to the country of their Western spouse, and Asian wives migrating into South Korean society. Based on the social representations linked to these female trajectories, migration and diaspora policies targeting these women were set up in the mid-2000s. Assigning a "social identity" to these women, with principles of distinction based both on the opposition between endogamous national marriage and exogamous international marriage and, based on gender, these policies classify them under the label of "woman married to a foreigner" and "woman of multicultural family". This categorization emphasizes a politicization of the conjugal space, and it attempts to define the "mixedness" in the family institution, but it also suggests, because of the distinguished appellation of these women according to their origin, a distinction between "national" and "foreigner". This paper proposes to study the link between a "social identity" imposed by family policies and their influence in private life, in order to show how these political categories contribute to reproducing the conditions of the functioning of the mixed family in this society.