The Social Networks of Married Immigrant Women in Korea : With a focus on Individual, Family, and Migrant Characteristics

결혼이주여성의 사회적 관계와 관련요인 : 개인특성, 가족특성, 이주민특성을 중심으로

  • Received : 2013.05.06
  • Accepted : 2013.08.02
  • Published : 2013.08.30


This study aimed to explore the social networks which married immigrant women have in Korea. Special attention was paid to factors such as individual, family, and migrant characteristics contributing to the different patterns of social networks. I drew upon the nationally representative data on 60,719 immigrant women married to Korean men from the '2009 Survey on Korean National Survey on Multicultural Families.' Results showed that the foreign wives tended to maintain a connection with our society through contact with their neighbors and participation in social gatherings. Findings also showed that the types of social networks by the number of trusted neighbors and meetings were diverse among the immigrant women. In addition, the factors differentiating the types were mostly associated with socioeconomic resources or Korean proficiency. More interestingly, the immigrant women's contacts with their family members in their homeland contributed to their maintenance of more active social networks. These results provided a useful outlook on the relationship between patterns of social networks and the characteristics of the married immigrant women, which eventually showed a heterogeneous nature among them. At the societal level, supportive systems for enriching immigrant women's social networks should be developed particularly in terms of not their dependency, but their potential contributions to our society.


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