Returning Home

The Materiality of Belonging in Modern Ainu Identity

Author: Hyun Mee Kim | Shinhye Park | and Ariun Shukhertei


This article analyzes the experiences of female marriage migrants who have returned to their home communities in Vietnam and Mongolia after escaping from their marriages in South Korea. It examines how these women returnees experience the transnational production of legal precarity during the processes of divorce and return migration. National marriage migration policies and institutions that determine the conditions of precarity are not confined to the sovereignty of a territorially-circumscribed state but are transnationally extendable, affecting the lives of marriage migrants long after they have returned to their home countries where they suffer from various forms of liminal legality. This article discusses how women become separated or divorced, how they arrive at a legally ambiguous status, and what limits their capacity to be reintegrated into their home countries. A new transnational framework for legal assistance is urgently required to find solutions to the problems faced by marriage migrant women and their children.

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© 2007 ILO/Crozet M.