STIM Workshops and Seminars


STIM Seminar: Performers of ‘Korean-ness’?: The Process of ‘Family‐Making’ by Vietnamese Women Marriage Migrants in South Korea

3 September 2013

The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

  • Prof. Hyun Mee Kim, Department of Cultural Anthropology, Yonsei University, South Korea

The South Korean state has since the 1990s played a pivotal role in regulating particular types of migration – especially ‘marriage migration’ – as a means of alleviating the crises of declining birth rates and an aging population, in the hope of restoring balance to the uneven male-to-female ratio in the marriage market. The gender/class/ethnic ideology in state migration policy imagines foreign women as labor power that replaces reproductive labor, and succumbs them under the frame of forming, maintaining, and reproducing the ‘Korean family,’ which is often that of the lower class in both urban and rural areas. Foreign women, especially those from Southeast Asia, have generated a wide range of discourses on multi-cultural society.

The presentation dealt with the complex process of ‘a family-making’ among Vietnamese migrant women in South Korea that involves the government’s migration policy, migration-inducing practices of Korean-local commercial brokers and ongoing negotiations among married couples. By looking at migration and transnational connections a Vietnamese woman migrant often undergoes as an emerging agent of family-making in contemporary Korea, this presentation examines the nexuses of neoliberal economic order, crisis of social reproduction both in sending and receiving countries, and migration of reproduction in Asian countries.

Special Programme on International Migration Research and Labour Migration Policy

28 August – 6 September 2013

The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Upon the request of the South Korean government, Social Transformation and International Migration Network of School of Social and Political Sciences, the University of Sydney offered an 8-day Special Training Programme on Migration Policy, specifically tailored for South Korean government officials.


The programme aims to contribute to the capacity-building of South Korean government officials working in the area of migration by:

  • understanding the social and political implications of migration policies from a global perspective, learning from the experiences of formulating and implementing migration policies in various contexts, developing research skills necessary for the formulation of migration policy.


The area of training includes formulating migration policy, managing migration data, and understanding the social and political implications of migration policy. The programme covers various aspects of migration policies including labour migration, multiculturalism, welfare and rights of migrants, and political economy of migration.


  • Pre-sessional assignment
  • Lecture 1: What makes or unmakes migration policy? (Prof. Stephen Castles)
  • Lecture 2: Migration policy and welfare system for migrants in Australia (Chulhyo Kim)
  • Lecture 3: Circular migration – Triple win, or a new label for temporary migration? (Derya Ozkul)
  • Lecture 4: Temporary migration and the new challenges for multiculturalism in Australia (Elsa Koleth)
  • Lecture 5: Multicultural policy in New Zealand (Rebecca Williamson / Chulhyo Kim)
  • Special Seminar (Prof. Hyun Mee Kim)
  • Workshop 1: Migration policies in South Korea
  • Workshop 2: Presentations of individual research
  • Tutorial 1-8 (Chulhyo Kim)

International Workshop on Social Transformation and International Migration

22-23 August 2013

The University of Sydney

Conference Proceedings

The overall intellectual purpose of the Workshop is to improve the links between international migration theory and broader social theory. It builds on the international, international, interdisciplinary collaboration established through the Social Transformation and International Migration in the 21st Century (STIM) Project.

It aims to construct a framework of analysis that posits migration as an integral component of social transformation. It contributes to the development of social scientific knowledge through analyzing the relationship between neo-liberal globalization and human mobility, and understanding how global processes are mediated through specific national and local social and cultural experiences. Using mixed methods and a multi-scalar approach, the project analyses four countries that have experienced significant social transformation and migration since the 1970s: South Korea, Mexico, Turkey and Australia.

The first specific objective of the Workshop is to provide an interdisciplinary interchange of leading social scientists working on international migration and diversity issues from Australia and several other countries. The workshop will also involve early career researchers and postgraduate students, and representatives from the Policy Innovation, Research and Evaluation Unit (PIREU) of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) of Australia. The Workshop will be a forum to examine key issues in the relationship between social transformation and international migration, and to discuss possible policy implications of these findings. The interdisciplinary workshop will involve scholars working at the intersections of a range of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, anthropology, geography, political economy, law, international relations and development studies. The second objective of the workshop is to produce a co-authored interdisciplinary publication by University of Sydney scholars from several departments (including doctoral candidates), as well as Australian and overseas partners, to be published as a book or a special issue in an international journal. Finally, the Workshop aims to build long-term partnerships between Australian and international social science researchers.

The participants at the Workshop include the Sydney based research team of the STIM Project (principal investigator and research assistants), international collaborators of the Project from Mexico, South Korea, Turkey and the UK, and scholars from Australia. The International Program Development Fund of the University of Sydney, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the University of Sydney, the Academy of the Social Sciences Australia, and the Australian Research Council sponsor the Workshop.


The Struggle of Trade Union and the Migrant Rights Organisations for the Rights of Migrant Workers in Korea: A Poster Session at the 5th World Social Forum on Migration

27 November 2012

Miriam College, Quezon, Philippines

  • An Overview of Migration Trends in South Korea

    Chulhyo Kim (The University of Sydney)

  • The Experiences, Challenges and Prospects of Migrant Trade Union in Korea Udaya Rai (Acting Chairperson, Migrants’ Trade Union)
  • The Struggles of Migrant Movement in Korea against Employment Permit System and challenges

    Chung, Young Sup (Convener, Alliance for Migrants’ Equality and Human Rights / Labour Committee Chair, Peoples’ Solidarity for Social Progress)

  • The Conditions of Undocumented Migrants under Temporary Labour Migration Policies

    Jason Lee (Director, Seoul Migrant Workers Center / Joint Committee with Migrants in Korea)

  • Challenges to Migrant Workers Organizing as Identified by Unions

    Sohoon Lee (The University of Sydney)

* Co-organised with Migrant Trade Union (Korea), Alliance for Equality and Human Rights of Migrant Workers (Korea), Joint Committee with Migrant Workers in Korea.

IOM MRTC-MOPAS Roundtable Discussion: Integration Policy of Migrants in Local Community: Trends and Issues

19 September 2012
IOM Migration Research and Training Centre, Goyang, Korea

  • Social Transformation and International Migration: Asia’s Migration Policy Dilemma
    Prof. Stephen Castles (The University of Sydney)
  • Migrant Settlement in Local Community and Social Integration Policy in Korea
    Dr. Oh, JungEun (IOM Migration Research and Training Centre)
  • Foreign Resident Support Policy and Plans for Strengthening Social Integration of Ministry of Public Administration and Security
    Seo, Ki-Won (Director of Multicultural Society Support, Ministry of Public Administration and Security)

* Co-organized by IOM Migration Research and Training Centre and Ministry of Public Administration and Security.

Immigration Policy Forum: Social Transformation and International Migration: Asia’s Migration Policy Dilemma

18 September 2012
Ministry of Justice, Gwacheon, Korea

  • Prof. Stephen Castles (The University of Sydney)

* Organized by Korea Immigration Service, Ministry of Justice of Korea.

Workshop on Neo-liberal Globalization, Social Transformation and International Migration in Korea

17 September 2012
Woodang Hall, Seoul, South Korea

  • Methodological challenges of multi-scalar social transformation research
    Prof. Stephen Castles (The University of Sydney)
  • Theorising Neo-liberal Globalization, Social Transformation and International Migration in South Korea
    Prof. Seol, Dong-Hoon (Chonbuk National University)
  • The Feminisation of migration to South Korea from a Gendered Perspective
    Prof. Lee, Hye Kyung (Pai Chai University)
  • Globalization, Social Transformation and International Migration in South Korea: A Case of Ansan
    Prof. Han, Geon-Soo (Kangwon National University)
  • Democritisation, Civil Society and International Migration in South Korea
    Chulhyo Kim (The University of Sydney)

* Co-organised with Korea International Migration Association.

NGO Workshop on Neo-liberal Globalisation and Migration in Korea

14 September 2012
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, Seoul, South Korea

  • Neo-liberal globalization, social transformation and international migration: an Asian-Pacific perspective
    Prof. Stephen Castles (The University of Sydney)
  • Roundtable discussion on Neo-liberal Globalisation, Social Transformation and International Migration in South Korea: The responses of civil society for the last 20 years and the vision for the future
      - Discussion 1 Marriage migration / Feminsation of migration
      - Discussion 2 Labour migration / Diaspora
      - Discussion 3 Refugees and other migration

The Global Scholar Workshop of Hanyang Institute of Globalization and Multicultural Studies Global Scholar Workshop

13 September 2012
Hanyang University, Ansan, Korea

  • Neo-liberal Globalization, Social Transformation and International Migration: an Asian-Pacific Perspective
    Prof. Stephen Castles (The University of Sydney)

* Organized by Institute of Globalization and Multicutural Studies, Hanyang University.

The 12nd SNU Asia Forum

11 September 2012
Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea

  • Neo-liberal Globalization, Social Transformation and International Migration: an Asian-Pacific Perspective
    Prof. Stephen Castles (The University of Sydney)

* Organized by Seoul National University Asia Center.

Migration, Precarious Work and Rights: Historical and Current Perspectives

6 June 2012
Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey

  • Prof. Stephen Castles (The University of Sydney)


Photos and film exhibition of STIM Field visits to Turkey and Korea

7 December 2011
The University of Sdyney, Sydney, Australia

STIM team presented the photos and videos taken during its preliminary visits to Turkey and Korea, and also discussed the social transformation and international migration in the two countries.

STIM Seminar on ‘Marriage Migration in Asia’

24 November 2011
The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

  • Prof. Hye-Kyung Lee, Department of Media Information and Sociology, Pai Chai University, South Korea

Though marriage migration can be found the world over, marriage migration is now more prevalent in Asia than in the west. Marriage migration is not new, but in Asia a very specific pattern has emerged, which has attracted increasing academic and policy attention. The major sending countries are China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand. Other sending countries of growing importance include Cambodia and Mongolia. The major receiving countries are Japan, Taiwan, Chinese Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia, but this list is expected to expand in the near future to include China and India. There are various forms of international marriages in Asia, with some organized by matchmaking agencies, while others result from overseas education, employment and tourism. This presentation will focus on marriage migration as a form of intra-regional migration into the three East Asian countries of Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. In these three nations the impact of marriage migration has been significant, resulting in a transformation of the ethnic composition of previously nominally homogeneous societies. In addition, it has raised a hegemonic discourse on the meaning of a ‘multicultural society’ in all three receiving countries where only 2-4 per cent of the populations are foreign residents. This presentation reviews the trends, causes, social and policy reactions, and issues involved. Special attention will be paid to how immigration policy changes in the region affect (and then interact with) marriage migration, and how marriage migration contributes to social transformation in the region.

Hye-Kyung Lee is Professor at the Department of Sociology & Media Information, Pai Chai University, South Korea. Since she got her Ph.D. degree in Sociology at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1988, she has published many papers on migration and transnational communities, gender and work. She was a coordinator of the Korea Migration Research Network (KMRN) from 2000 to 2003. There she co-authored, two books ‘Migrant Workers in Korea’ (1998), ‘Works and Lives of Migrant Workers’ (2003). Recently, she published articles on ‘foreign domestic workers’, ‘marriage migration’ and ‘Korean overseas students’. She served as a Women’s Policy Advisor to the Major of Daejeon City from 2005 to 2006, as the dean of Academic Affairs in Pai Chai University from 2007 to February 2009, and has served an advisory committee member for the Korean National Statistical Office, the Ministry of Gender Equality, the Ministry of Labor and the Immigration Bureau of the Ministry of Justice. She was President of the Korea International Migration Association (KIMA) from January 2009 to December 2010.