She is not a 'typical' Korean mom: Japanese mother's role in children's education in South Korea

Nayoung Heo, Asian Demographic Research Institute, Shanghai University

Mothers in South Korea are well-known for their high level of involvement in education of their children through information-sharing among mothers, investment in private tutoring and intervention in education-related decisions of their children. However, based on in-depth interview data collected in 2014 from 21 Japanese-Korean young adults, who were all born to a Japanese-born mother and a Korean-born father, I show in this study that a) the role of Japanese-born mothers in schooling years of my interviewees was distinct for the mothers’ minimal networking and little intervention in children’s education compared to those of the interviewees’ peers who were born to two Korean-born parents; b) fathers of interviewees took a minor role in raising children in general strengthening the conventional image of a father being a breadwinner and a mother being a homemaker; c) autonomous learning styles of interviewees had an impact on the their life decisions. I also discuss how Japanese mothers took active roles in their religious lives which consequently influenced the entire family in setting priorities at the familial level. The present study sheds light on different nurturing patterns of Japanese-born mothers compared to Korean-born mothers and potential challenges Korean society needs to face in the near future.

Presented in Session 27: Changing Marriage Patterns and Family Life in Asia. APA Invited Session