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Korean Farmers’ Restoration of Masculinity: Gender, Class, and Nationality in Filipina-Korean International Marriage
Unformatted Document Text:  farmers committing suicide out of the frustration of not providing offspring, which is an important duty of filial piety. But of course, these media reports did not mention how many farmers are from low-income households due to government’s de-emphasis of agricultural industry. The Committee to Help Find Brides for Farm Bachelors, a nationwide organization, was founded in June 1990 and began a national campaign to find brides for these “not-so-young” men (Shim 1993). After a disappointing response within the country, they turned first to Korean communities in northeastern China called “joseonjok” to maintain ethnic “homogeneity” (Freeman 2006). However, soon “runaway brides” of Korean farmers hit headlines nationwide. That is, newly-wedded “China brides” abandoned their husbands and even their children to look for jobs in cities in order to make money for their families in China. This is when Korean farmers began to look for wives in other countries and international migration for inter-ethnic marriage began in South Korea. Farm bachelors marrying international marriage migrants have also been an issue in Japan and Taiwan before this occurred in South Korea, and now with the rigorous promotion by numerous introduction/wedding agencies, the absolute number of urban clienteles surpassed their rural counterparts in these countries. In rural areas, the Unification Church has played a crucial role in promoting international marriage. Though many Korean men and Filipinas are not the Unification Church members, they are recruited or urged by local UC members and matched through the UC ceremonies. For my study, I entered rural communities because the inflow of marriage migrants has steadily increased in rural areas and to examine a different impact of globalization in rural areas which have often been excluded from the globalization literature. 7

Authors: Kim, Minjeong.
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farmers committing suicide out of the frustration of not providing offspring, which is an 
important duty of filial piety. But of course, these media reports did not mention how many 
farmers are from low-income households due to government’s de-emphasis of agricultural 
industry. 
The Committee to Help Find Brides for Farm Bachelors, a nationwide organization, was 
founded in June 1990 and began a national campaign to find brides for these “not-so-young” 
men (Shim 1993). After a disappointing response within the country, they turned first to Korean 
communities in northeastern China called “joseonjok” to maintain ethnic “homogeneity” 
(Freeman 2006). However, soon “runaway brides” of Korean farmers hit headlines nationwide. 
That is, newly-wedded “China brides” abandoned their husbands and even their children to look 
for jobs in cities in order to make money for their families in China. This is when Korean 
farmers began to look for wives in other countries and international migration for inter-ethnic 
marriage began in South Korea. 
Farm bachelors marrying international marriage migrants have also been an issue in 
Japan and Taiwan before this occurred in South Korea, and now with the rigorous promotion by 
numerous introduction/wedding agencies, the absolute number of urban clienteles surpassed their 
rural counterparts in these countries. In rural areas, the Unification Church has played a crucial 
role in promoting international marriage. Though many Korean men and Filipinas are not the 
Unification Church members, they are recruited or urged by local UC members and matched 
through the UC ceremonies. 
For my study, I entered rural communities because the inflow of marriage migrants has 
steadily increased in rural areas and to examine a different impact of globalization in rural areas 
which have often been excluded from the globalization literature. 
7


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