September 10, 2019

Conference paper: Marriage Market of Immigrant Families in the Korean Peninsula before Colonization

Sangwoo Han, postdoctoral researcher on the Aftermath project, will present a paper at the Social Science History Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, 21-24 November, 2019. Dr Han’s paper, “Marriage Market of Immigrant Families from outside the Korean Peninsula before the Colonization”, will appear in the panel “Bringing Women Back into the History of Joseon (Korea) in Comparative Perspective.”

Dr Han writes, “The myth of Korea as an ethnically homogeneous nation was a reaction against Japanese colonialism in the early 20th century, and remained strong after independence in 1945. This belief has collapsed in recent decades with an increasing number of immigrants and international marriages. However, the fact that there were a significant number of immigrants from outside the Korean peninsula before the 20th century has not yet been noticed by academic researchers. The number of immigrants rose rapidly with the Japanese invasions of Korea from 1592 to 1598. This international war between Joseon Korea, Ming China, and Toyotomi Japan brought an unprecedented number of foreigners, and some of them remained in the peninsula. The social status of the mother was one of the most crucial factors determining one’s social status in the premodern Korean hierarchy system. Therefore my paper will focus on the marriage patterns of women descended from immigrants from outside the peninsula after the Japanese invasions. According to prior studies of East Asian family structures, marriage customs were different between East Asian countries. I will explore marriage patterns and the marriage market of immigrant families, such as whom they married and where they resided after their marriage.”

Further details of the panel and the conference are available here.