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SEXUAL DIVISION OF LABOR IN THE CONTEXTS OF NUCLEAR FAMILY AND CULTURAL IDEOLOGY AMONG KOREAN STUDENT COUPLES IN HAWAII

Alice Yun Chai
Humboldt Journal of Social Relations
Vol. 10, No. 2, The Study of Women: New Challenges, New Directions (SPRING/SUMMER 1983), pp. 153-174
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23262323
Page Count: 22
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
SEXUAL DIVISION OF LABOR IN THE CONTEXTS OF NUCLEAR FAMILY AND CULTURAL IDEOLOGY AMONG KOREAN STUDENT COUPLES IN HAWAII
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Abstract

There is a tendency among Western feminist anthropologists who apply comparative frameworks, such as the public/private dichotomy, to pull women's and men's experiences out of their sociocultural contexts by projecting their own cultural meaning to other cultures. In an attempt to redress this oversight, this study will describe and analyze sexual division of labor in employment, housework, and child care among Korean students and their working wives in Hawaii in the sociocultural contexts of Korean cultural ideology, the structurally isolated nuclear family and the disadvantageous politicoeconomic structural position in the larger society of Hawaii. Korean student couples in Hawaii change their economic and domestic activities and sex role patterns by developing coping strategies which utilize their cultural ideology to give meanings to their new roles and to solicit assistance for child care from extended female kin networks in Korea. The college educated wives are willing to work as menial laborers and husbands often assist their wives with household tasks and child care in order to realize their goal of an American higher education, which they hope will lead to occupational opportunities for themselves and social prestige for the whole extended family.

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