International Development Planning Review

Migrant domestic workers in Korea: The effects of global householding on Korean-Chinese domestic workers

International Development Planning Review (2006), 28, (4), 499–514.

Abstract

As international migration grows in scale and geographical scope, hiring foreign domestic workers has also increased in many industrialised countries. Thus 'global householding' is emerging both in receiving and sending countries. Korea is no exception to this trend. Compared to other rapidly industrialising economies in Asia such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, however, hiring foreign domestic workers has been a less popular option for Korean households. The major groups of migrant domestic workers are Korean-Chinese (69%) and Chinese (29%), but less than 1% are Filipinos who are popular domestic workers in other Asian countries. To clarify these observations, this paper will examine: 1) why and how Korean households began to hire foreign domestic workers; 2) how and why Korean-Chinese women monopolise the foreign domestic worker market; 3) why hiring foreign domestic workers is not popular in Korea; and 4) the impact that working in Korea has on Korean-Chinese women's families at home.

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Details

Author details

Lee, Hye-Kyung