The Story of Minh: The Lifeworld of a Marriage-Labor Immigrant Mother

MinSoo Kim-Bossard
page. 1~26 / 2016 Vol.10 No.3


In this paper, I investigate how Minh, as an immigrant mother, accepts, resists, and transformsavailable Korean cultural discourses about mothering. With the goal of exploring and understandingthe discourses about mothering that pertain to immigrant families in Korea, I examine how local,national, and international histories of race, gender, class, citizenship, nationality, and culture shapethe discourses of mothering in Korea. Through this process, the paper addresses the intersectionbetween the discourses about mothering and marriage-labor immigrant families in the Korean context.To examine disparities and contradictions that emerged from my multiple ethnographic interviewswith Minh between 2013 and 2015, I use Bakhtin’s idea of heteroglossia as an analytic tool. Thepaper concludes by discussing the need for establishing renewed perspectives on the role of“Koreanness,” the complexities of marriage-labor immigrants’ lifeworlds, and mothering as cultural,emotional, and affective labor.

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