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Title:A Social Phenomenological Understanding of Family Violence: The Case of Korea
Author(s):Cho, Joo-Hyun
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Denzin, Norman K.
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Criminology and Penology
Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Abstract:This dissertation focuses on the problem of family violence in contemporary Korea. I argue that the family violence in Korea is inextricably bound to two issues: the problem of a husband's adultery, and conflict with the family-in-law. This is a radically different phenomena when compared to cases in Western society.
The strong female sexuality, representing Yin, has been exercised inside the family, the private sphere, when it was repressed by Confucian ethics. Women's emulation of men's power struggle has been represented through the age-long struggle and conflicts between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. Physical or emotional abuse of the wife by the husband often results from the context of this power struggle. Secondly, husband's adultery, which is highly connected to the problem of wife battering, hardly leads to a destruction of the family as long as wife's power inside the family (jib, in Korean) is preserved economically and symbolically either by husband or by in-laws. Thus it often happens that the husband's adultery and battering are compensated and even accepted by the wife for her strong position in the family (jib). Often in-laws do praise and encourage her for her endurance of the husband's abuse, and its controls her response.
Korean family law supports the rationale of the Confucian family. The primary importance of jib (family) succession through the male heir is still sustained by the law. The divorced wife loses her parental rights over her children. Neither the legal right to the division of marital property nor the wife abuse law exist. Spouse's adultery is subject to the criminal charge of up to one year imprisonment. But a divorce should be obtained before proceedings on the adultery trial is started. Under this condition, the Korean battered wife is patient with the violence to the extreme degree.
Being caught within the world of violence, the battered wife little by little withdraws both mentally and physically. Schizophrenic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, amnesia, problems in communication arise as well as the general effects of physical violence such as headache, backache, scars, bruises, arthritis, and depression. She tries desperately to go back to the taken-for-granted world, but with a revenge. But if she doesn't face what is happening to her, she herself might be the victim of her own plan.
Issue Date:1988
Description:299 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8823103
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1988

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