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Adaptations in Transnational Marriages: Focus on Thai Husbands and Their Taiwanese Wives
Taiwan Government officially approved of its introduction of foreign labors in 1989. Since then, foreign workers from Southeast Asian Countries had made up for Taiwan’s shortage of labors. Many of the immigrant workers married Taiwanese and became marriage immigrants to Taiwan. These marriage immigrants known as New Immigrants has formed the 5th ethnic group of Taiwan because of their population size. Frequent contacts between Taiwanese and foreign workers at the workplace have indirectly promoted transnational marriages between Taiwanese people with migrant workers. Thai men who are renowned for their gentleness, thoughtfulness and family-caring, subsequently gain much of Taiwanese women’s favor. As a result, Male Thai spouses in Taiwan are greater in number than male spouses from other countries. This study takes Male Thai Spouses of the transnational marriages as the research subjects. Qestionnaires, field observations and in-depth interviews were applied to explore issues in Thai-Taiwan transnational marriages. This study aims to investigate reasons for their settlement in Taiwan, their marital adaptations to each other in culture, in social community and in everyday living. Due to the limitations on the data collection, some of the Male Thai Spouses’ information can only obtained through interviews with their Taiwanese wives. The research results indicate as follows: 1. Workplaces where foreign workers frequently encounter local workers become the breeding grounds for transnational marriages. 2. Character traits of Thai men, such as gentleness, thoughtfulness and family-caring, are factors that affect Taiwanese women’s choices of transnational marriages. 3. Because of the higher socioeconomic status, stronger economic strength and higher educational level, Taiwanese wives take the leading role in the Thai-Taiwan transnatial marriges. 4. Cultural differences, different value orientation and language barrier are main reasons that provoke quarrels in the transnational marriages.
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