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Korea, South

  • By: Joon Sun Lee
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

In South Korea, motherhood in some sense begins at conception or even earlier. Childbearing or women or women of childbearing age are expected to practice Tae-Kyo (prenatal care or “education of fetus,” in literal translation): to be serene and positive in their words, deeds, and thoughts to support an optimal growth of the fetus. Despite the steady increase in women's labor participation, many women, especially in the middle class, put their career aside after marriage or childbearing. Under the influence of Confucian family values, mothers have primary responsibility for taking care of children, while fathers work long hours in their jobs. The mother-child bond is emphasized, and traditional childrearing practices such as co-sleeping are still very common.

As children grow, their education is considered as ...

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