30 9월 [Article] Governing through mobilities and the expansion of spatial capability of Vietnamese marriage migrant activist women in South Korea
This paper revisits the debate on marriage migration by highlighting the role of governing power and individual response in the process of migration decision‐making and post‐settlement of Vietnamese marriage migrant activist women in South Korea. It contributes to current marriage migration debates by employing the lens of ‘governmobility’ and ‘spatial capability’. The research looks at how female migrant activists maneuver coercion, resistance, and activism, both governed by nation‐state politics, but also actively deciding their fate amidst pressures of the global marriage market. Based on in‐depth interviews with 21 Vietnamese marriage migrant women who have worked in mentoring, counselling and translating for other Vietnamese migrants, our findings demonstrate that marriage migrants are positioned in between two nation‐states whose perspectival focus is on relieving the tensions of their own domestic job and marital markets. At the same time, these women have broken free from the inertia of socio‐familial status quo and state intervention to become self‐governing agents of mobility in various stages of their migration and adaptation. Fueled on by their position as activists, the marriage migrants then expand their spatial capability to place‐making—shifting the notion of freedom from simply taking part in mobility to reshaping their locale.