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Arranged Marriages in Korea
Transcript of Arranged Marriages in Korea
Role of a Woman
For an arranged marriage, matchmakers are used. When the time to get married has come, parents' take their youth to matchmakers/ or single ladies or men make appointments, and the matchmakers take a look at their resumes and family histories. Doing this would let the workers be able to find a person that is compatible with the client. Another way to find the perfect match for an arranged marriage is to let the parents arrange it. Once meetings have been set up, and finished, it is up to the children to decide whether or not they would get married, as it is not common for marriage to come from the first match-up. However, those who do decide to get married will date for several months, which is why the differences between arranged marriages and 'love' marriages are often blurred. A 'love' marriage is as it seems, it comes from a relationship of love, two people that had fallen in love with each other, and had decided to get married on their own. In these situations, there is of course no matchmaker or family-arranged meetings involved. The couples often meet because of the same/similar social circles, blind dates, group dates, their workplaces, or their post-secondary schools.
Role of a Wife
After getting married, the wife's role was to take care of her in-laws and husband (she and her husband would live in his parents' house), to be obedient (to not question things, do as she's told,etc), to hold harmony in the household, and to avoid conflict. She also must bear children, preferably sons, because as their sons got married, the parents would depend on them, because it is considered shameful to depend on daughters. If a wife was barren, then the husband could divorce her (only men could divorce at the time), he could marry a second wife, or adopt a son from one of his brothers (if any were available). Nowadays, Korean women are entering the workforce, but are still expected to bear children, keep up the housekeeping duties, and support their families, which can honestly be quite stressful. Also, both parties are allowed to divorce the other, numbers of divorces have increased rapidly. In 1975, the annual amount of divorces was 17,000, in the mid-80's it was between 23,000 and 26,000, then in 1987 the annual amount was 45,000 divorces.
Traditionally, women's roles were being confined to their homes, taking care of household chores, and being good wives, and mothers. They couldn't take part in society as much as men could, because their duties were in their homes. Nowadays, they are working, going to school, and basically focusing on things other than marriage, having children, etc. Though, when the time comes, they will focus on marrying, and having kids, but will also balance work, social lives, and their participation in their society.
By Kendra Boucher