Moving toward multicultural society? : South Korea’s migration trends and policies with the focus on foreign labor / Supatcha Indusobhana = ก้าวสู่สังคมหลากวัฒนธรรม? แนวโน้มการอพยพและนโยบายที่เกี่ยวข้องของเกาหลีใต้กรณีแรงงานต่างชาติ
The purpose of this thesis is to study the migration trends and immigration policies of South Korea with the focus on foreign labor and to discuss the obstacles and problems that might occur as a result of the increase of foreign population. The study is done by using the secondary academic data collected through various sources including special reports, findings from previous studies, books, periodicals, journals and internet by focusing on the First Basic Plan for Immigration Policy 2008-2012, the related policies, and the information related to the immigration in South Korea. Findings of this study reveal the main purpose of South Korea’s immigration policies that aim to achieve multicultural society and its high demand for foreign labor in order to help the country accelerating economic development and enhancing the national competitiveness. However, widely recognized as a homogeneous nation with a strong consciousness of ethnic nationalism, the government’s determination to achieve multicultural society might be obstructed. Moreover, the aim to attract more foreign talents and manpower might result in social frictions and social problems caused by ethnic and cultural diversities and miscommunication between the Korean nationals and the newcomers. Therefore, in addition to the encouragement and support of the language and cultural study for foreigners to help them adjust themselves more comfortably to the Korean society, the government has tried to create a better understanding among the natives through public education about the change that will occur in order to strengthen the social cohesion where the Koreans and foreigners could live together happily. Thus, if South Korea could eliminate the conflicts and discrimination that caused by the difference in ethnicity and cultures, more foreigners with desirable potentials would immigrate into South Korea and possibly help South Korea push ahead the economic development without causing social frictions. However, to achieve the goal of being a multicultural society might be a time-consuming process.