S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Korea Journal of Population and Development Vol.19 No.1/2 (1990)
The Comparative Study of Inheritance among Korean Americans and Koreans
- Cho, Cheung Moon
- Issue Date
- Korea Journal of Population and Development, Vol.19 No.2, pp. 201-219
- The purpose of this paper is to reveal whether migration plays a role in modifying Korean immigrants' heirship practices. While heirship practices in Korea are lineal, traditional, and unequal, based on birth order and gender, American heirship practices are horizontal, liberal, and equal. Migration to the U. S. involves several aspects: social contact with a different culture, living in a different material environment, and selectivity of migrants. These factors may lead Korean
immigrants to depart from traditional Korean inheritance practices. However, there are also some aspects which will lead Korean immigrants to preserve their traditional inheritance system. The research design involves comparing Korean immigrants and non-immigrant Koreans. In the immigrant sample, 182 Korean Americans over age 40 living in the Washington metropolitan area were interviewed through mail questionnaires. As counterparts in Korea, 159 residents of an industrialized small city (Changsungpo City) were interviewed. It was found that migration to the U. S. has contradictory effects on Korean immigrants' attitude toward the traditional Korean inheritance system. Korean immigrants' disinclination for unequal distribution among children is much stronger than non-immigrants'. However, Korean immigrants are more likely to prefer the tradition of extensive financial support to children than are non-immigrants.
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