OMNES : The Journal of multicultural society
[ Article ]
OMNES: The Journal of Multicultural Society - Vol. 7, No. 2, pp.60-98
ISSN: 2093-5498 (Print)
Print publication date Jan 2017
Received 17 Aug 2016 Revised 25 Aug 2016 Accepted 02 Dec 2016

Cultural Diversity and Cultural Co-existence between Asian Immigrants and the Natives in Korea

Young-Lan Kim** ; Ahnlee Jang
Professor in the Department of Social Psychology at Sookmyung Women’s University
Hongik University, School of Advertising and Public Relations

Correspondence to: **First and corresponding author


Through in-depth interviews with 22 marriage migrant women from China, Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia and 11 interviews with multicultural experts, the study examines how the participants view cultural differences, similarities, issues for potential conflicts, and ways for cultural co-existence. Moreover, the study examined grounds for social distance from the multicultural experts to understand social distance native Koreans feel toward marriage migrant women. The study found that both marriage migrant women and multicultural experts have similar perceptions on cultural differences, similarities, potential for conflicts, and solutions for cultural co-existence. As for grounds for social distance, the findings indicate that multicultural experts have close social distance when it comes to marriage migrant women becoming citizens, neighbors and friends, however, far social distance when they become colleagues. Implications of the findings as well as suggestions for cultural co-existences are discussed.


cultural diversity, cultural co-existence, marriage migrant women, social distance, immigration country, multiculturalism


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Biographical Note

Young-Lan Kim received her M.A. from Korea University and Ph.D. in Sociology from Korea University. Her research interests include multiculturalism, social integration, cultural diversity, co-existence, social risks and risk society. Some of her works have been published in the Journal of Korean Society, Family and Culture, and Asian Women. She is a professor in the Department of Social Psychology at Sookmyung Women’s University. E-mail:

Ahnlee Jang received her M.A. from the University of Southern California in East Asian Languages and Cultures and Ph.D. in Public Relations from the University of Maryland. Her research interests include social capital, multiculturalism, cultural identity, and civic engagement of ethnically diverse publics. Her works have been published in the Journal of Public Relations Research, Korea Observer, and Studies of Koreans Abroad. She is currently teaching at Hongik University, School of Advertising and Public Relations. E-mail: