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Social Networks and Turnover among Foreign Workers in Korea


Hyunggi Park | Department of Sociology, Sungkyunkwan University

Seokho Kim | Department of Sociology, Sungkyunkwan University

Jungwhan Lee | Department of Sociology, Cheongju University


This study examines how foreign workers’social networks are related to their

turnover experiences. It especially focuses on the effects of social network

properties on the outcomes of job search activity among migrant workers under the

“Employment Permit System(EPS)” in Korea. The Data analyzed in this study is

from the 『2010 Survey on Employment and Living Conditions of Migrant Workers

in Korea』conducted by Human Resources Development Service of Korea. The data

include 776 migrant workers from Vietnam, Philippine, Indonesia, Thailand,

Sri-Lanka and Mongolia. The result are as follows. Firstly, the larger migrant

workers have friend from the same country or the higher they have capability to

collect new job information, the higher the likelihood to change the occupation.

Secondly, strong ties are more efficient than weak ties when it comes to the

transmission and dissemination of job information. Thirdly, participation in Korean

voluntary associations turned out to be significantly decreasing the possibility that

migrant workers change their workplaces.


Key Words: Foreign Workers, Social Capital, Social Network, Turnover, Employment Permit System


Korea Journal of Population Studies 2014, 37(1), 2014.3, 31-57