Journal List > Korean J Community Nutr > v.22(2) > 1038574

Lee: Analysis of Korean Dietary Life Adaptation of Married Female Immigrants



This study aims to investigate the married female immigrants' experience on Korean dietary life adaptation, especially identifying the symbolic meaning and nature of experiences.


This study was conducted with six married female immigrants through an analysis of the qualitative materials which consisted of in-depth interviews, field notes and materials. Data was analyzed using Giorgi's phenomenological research methods.


The results were deduced as 116 significant statements, 17 formulated meanings (sub-theme), and 6 theme clusters. Six theme clusters comprised of lack of preliminary knowledge and information, conflict and support in relationships, Korean food culture which is different from homeland, adaptation attitudes of Korean food culture according to situation, sharing of homeland food culture, and practical difficulty and expectative service. The participants started Korean life in the dark about Korea and Korean food culture, so they were subjected to trial and error. The conflict between Korean mother-in-law and foreign daughter-in-law came from lack of consideration of daughter-in-law's cultural background. Some participants were hurt because of misunderstanding and nitpicking. They were learning about cooking method, ingredient, seasoning, table setting and manner. Some participants integrated Korean food culture and their homeland food culture. Some of them assimilated with Korean food culture. One of them maintained homeland food culture. The participants who adapted Korean food culture well could share homeland food amicably. They sometimes didn't apply the services which were offered by the government, because the services did not fit their needs. Some of them didn't know the usage route of the services or information. They had resistance about home teaching and it showed that outreach service was not always effective.


This study suggested that it is necessary to develop a practical support plan which covers married female immigrants' real needs and system improvement measures.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

Demographics of the study subjects

Table 2

The experiential meaning of married female immigrants



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Jeong-Sook Lee

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