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FOREIGN MOTHERS’ CULTURAL AND SOCIAL CAPITAL AND MATERNAL INVOLVEMENT IN THEIR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION: CASE STUDY OF A COMMUNITY IN SOUTH KOREA

Park, Heejin (2012) FOREIGN MOTHERS’ CULTURAL AND SOCIAL CAPITAL AND MATERNAL INVOLVEMENT IN THEIR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION: CASE STUDY OF A COMMUNITY IN SOUTH KOREA. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.

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    Abstract

    Cross-border marriages, which typically involve female marriage immigrants (so-called “foreign brides”), have increased in South Korea in recent years. Only a limited number of interracial children from those marriages currently attend the extremely homogenous South Korean schools yet, but more are expected to do so in the near future. This dissertation explores the process of foreign mothers’ involvement in their children’s education, particularly their access to, and use of cultural and social capital. I present a, conceptual framework, “The process of foreign mothers’ involvement in their children’s education,” To help understand these mothers’ experiences regarding their children’s education Twenty foreign mothers were interviewed in a rural community in South Korea about their social and cultural capital surrounding their home-based and school-based involvement in their children’s education. Social events that foreign mothers attended were also observed, and ten additional people were interviewed including foreign mothers’ spouses, friends, neighbors, and Korean language teachers,. Findings show that most foreign mothers took the roles of the major caregivers’ and educators’ in their family, had high aspirations regarding their children’s education, and were therefore willing to support them. Frequently, however, foreign mothers were perceived by both themselves and their family members as incapable of properly engaging in their children’s education. Given their immigrant background, their knowledge of Korean language and culture were presumed to be insufficient. Nonetheless, they were expected to be involved in their children’s education in the manner of South Korean mothers. Their original languages and cultures were often considered irrelevant for their children’s development. Accordingly, most foreign mothers appeared to be frustrated with the standard of parenting that required them to emulate South Korean mothers. The exception to this was a minority who refused the monolingual and monocultural ideologies or who were already proficiency in Korean language and culture at the time of immigration. Most foreign mothers’ social relationships were restricted within the boundaries of geographic proximity or the same ethnic groups and rarely included native South Koreans, which explains their limited information channels. In some cases, Korean language teachers and families acted as bridges for mothers to Korean society. Findings increase the understanding of immigrant mothers’ experiences in South Korea and provide important education policy implications.


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    Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
    ETD Committee:
    ETD Committee TypeCommittee MemberEmailORCID
    Committee ChairWeidman, Johnweidman@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberRussell, Jenniferjrussel@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberJacob, Jameswjacob@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberHart, Dennisdmhart@msu.edu
    Title: FOREIGN MOTHERS’ CULTURAL AND SOCIAL CAPITAL AND MATERNAL INVOLVEMENT IN THEIR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION: CASE STUDY OF A COMMUNITY IN SOUTH KOREA
    Status: Published
    Abstract: Cross-border marriages, which typically involve female marriage immigrants (so-called “foreign brides”), have increased in South Korea in recent years. Only a limited number of interracial children from those marriages currently attend the extremely homogenous South Korean schools yet, but more are expected to do so in the near future. This dissertation explores the process of foreign mothers’ involvement in their children’s education, particularly their access to, and use of cultural and social capital. I present a, conceptual framework, “The process of foreign mothers’ involvement in their children’s education,” To help understand these mothers’ experiences regarding their children’s education Twenty foreign mothers were interviewed in a rural community in South Korea about their social and cultural capital surrounding their home-based and school-based involvement in their children’s education. Social events that foreign mothers attended were also observed, and ten additional people were interviewed including foreign mothers’ spouses, friends, neighbors, and Korean language teachers,. Findings show that most foreign mothers took the roles of the major caregivers’ and educators’ in their family, had high aspirations regarding their children’s education, and were therefore willing to support them. Frequently, however, foreign mothers were perceived by both themselves and their family members as incapable of properly engaging in their children’s education. Given their immigrant background, their knowledge of Korean language and culture were presumed to be insufficient. Nonetheless, they were expected to be involved in their children’s education in the manner of South Korean mothers. Their original languages and cultures were often considered irrelevant for their children’s development. Accordingly, most foreign mothers appeared to be frustrated with the standard of parenting that required them to emulate South Korean mothers. The exception to this was a minority who refused the monolingual and monocultural ideologies or who were already proficiency in Korean language and culture at the time of immigration. Most foreign mothers’ social relationships were restricted within the boundaries of geographic proximity or the same ethnic groups and rarely included native South Koreans, which explains their limited information channels. In some cases, Korean language teachers and families acted as bridges for mothers to Korean society. Findings increase the understanding of immigrant mothers’ experiences in South Korea and provide important education policy implications.
    Date: 17 January 2012
    Date Type: Publication
    Defense Date: 20 July 2011
    Approval Date: 17 January 2012
    Submission Date: 15 January 2012
    Release Date: 17 January 2012
    Access Restriction: No restriction; The work is available for access worldwide immediately.
    Patent pending: No
    Number of Pages: 293
    Institution: University of Pittsburgh
    Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
    Refereed: Yes
    Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Foreign mothers, foreign brides, maternal involvement, parental involvement, South Korea, interracial families, interracial children, social capital, cultural capital
    Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
    Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2012 10:14
    Last Modified: 16 Jul 2014 17:03

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