Transnational Care for Aged Parents Left Behind in Uzbekistan: A Case of Koryoin Migrants in Gwangju
Vol.3, pp.79 – 130, 2019
The number of Koryoin (ethnic Koreans in post-Soviet states) migrants residing in South Korea is escalating as a result of the combined influence of various push and pull factors. Push factors include high unemployment and an uncertain future for the younger generation following Uzbek independence and the Uzbek government’s ethnic-centric nationalism policies. Pull factors include South Korea’s high salaries and an immigration policy open to overseas Koreans. Care for elderly Koryoin remaining in Uzbekistan after their children migrate to South Korea exhibits transnational characteristics. This study examines aspects of transnational caregiving practices for Koryoin elderly parents remaining in Uzbekistan who are cared for by their adult children who have returned to South Korea. The care practices are examined within a transnationally separated extended family network of Uzbek Koryoin. The study analyzes factors that influence the transnational care practices of Koryoin children in South Korea toward their older parents. Existing research on international migration and transnational families has mainly focused on nations where migrants settle down. Overlooked are the perspectives of elderly parents of migrants. This article aims to understand the following topics from the perspectives of older parents in particular: the emotional influence of children’s international migration; transnational life and care practices of migrant children; prospects for the reunification of migrants and their parents. Multi-sited field work was carried out in South Korea and Uzbekistan to achieve these research objectives.
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