The ‘transnationality’ of Koreans, Korean families and Korean communities in Aotearoa New Zealand – implications for social work practice

Hong-Jae Park, Jim Anglem


Little is known about Korean migrants and their lives in New Zealand. They are likely to be ‘invisible’ in society whereas their population is growing rapidly. This paper describes who they are, how their family ties are reshaped, and what is going on in their community. Data were collected from a mixed method study utilising both qualitative and quantitative investigations. The findings of the study show that the Korean population is diverse despite the homogeneous portrait of it in New Zealand. The lifestyles of Korean migrants are likely to be ‘transnational’ between the homeland and the host society, and their family relationships are necessarily across the two nations. The Korean community plays a vital role as a catalyst to stimulate interactions with people, products and ideas within the migration context. The transnationality of the Korean population has become vividly apparent, coupled with the development of information and communication technologies. It is suggested that social work with contemporary migrants requires an understanding of the nature of transnational- ity that significantly affects migrant individuals, their families and communities. 


migrants; korean migrants; migrant community; transnationality;

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