The socio-demographic changes, both quantitative and qualitative, of the South Korean family in the 21st century have been interpreted as the decline of the modern patriarchal nuclear family. Diversification of household composition, changes in norms and practices regarding marriage and partnership, a decline in the fertility rate, emergence of international marriage and transnational families, and increased insecurity in the gender division of labor challenge the conventional notion of the modern Korean family. In this talk, Prof. Jae Kyung Lee argues for a family flexibility approach to move beyond the modern dichotomies, such as normal family vs. broken (abnormal) family; heterosexuality vs. homosexuality; private vs. public; family vs. work; and family vs. market, in order to understand 21st century South Korean family norms regarding marriage and family.
Jae Kyung Lee is Professor Emeritus of Women's Studies at Ewha Womans University. Trained as a sociologist, she has specialized in family issues and gender policies in South Korea. She has researched and published numerous articles, book chapters and authored and edited books. Her significant works include Modern Korean Family and Feminism, The State and Gender in South Korea (co-author), Feminist Oral History: Deconstructing Institutional Knowledge, and National Development and Gender Politics (co-author). She has completed the five-year research project titled "Becoming Modern: Women's Oral history, the Politics of National Division and Development in Postcolonial Korea."
Presented in partnership with the Institute for Korean Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington and made possible by the Core University Program Grant by the Academy of Korean Studies.