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IMMIGRATION PATHWAY AND LIFE SATISFACTION: THE CASE OF FEMALE MIGRANTS IN CONTEMPORARY SOUTH KOREA

  • Author(s): Oh, Hyunsu
  • Advisor(s): Alegria, Sharla
  • et al.
Abstract

This paper examines how different types of marriage pathways shape the levels of life satisfaction among female marriage migrants. Based on immigration literatures following Granovetter’s argument of the strength of weak ties and the context of cross-border marriage migration into South Korea, I investigate how three different marriage pathways: (1) kinship; (2) friendship, colleagueship, and religion; and (3) marriage agencies, which represent strong, weak, and formal pathways, respectively, affect to levels of life satisfaction of female immigrants in Korean society. Using data from the 2012 Korean National Survey for Multicultural Family, findings reveal that female immigrants with strong pathway show higher level of life satisfaction than those with weak and formal pathways. Also, strong pathway has positive and strong influences on life satisfaction of female immigrants in South Korea than other types of pathways. This paper contributes to the immigration and social network literature by suggesting a critical lens that challenges previous research that highlight functional aspects of social networks and by focusing importance of strong ties for understanding life satisfaction among immigrants in the context of cross-border marriage migration.

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