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The Realities of Same Surname Marriage and the Consciousness of Surname and Family Origin in the Late Joseon Period

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2017, (126), pp.245-278
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

KyungRan Kim 1

1안동대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The legal regulations and social criticism of same surname marriage were continuously strengthened over time after the Joseon Dynasty was founded. In reality, however, same surname marriage was practiced until the late Joseon period. In order to identify the extent to which the legal regulations of same surname marriage were actually reflected in marriage at that time, this study analyzed the realities of same surname marriage based on the household register of Daegu Prefecture, Gyeongsang-do Province. The results are summarized as follows. First, in the late Joseon period, different surname marriage was mainly practiced, but the ratio of same surname marriage was not low. Second, same surname and different family origin marriage was practiced throughout all the ages; however, marriage among those with the same surname and the same family origin increased somewhat in the 18th century but decreased and disappeared from the 19th century. Third, same surname and different family origin marriage was practiced among people at all levels having both surname and family origin, whereas same surname and same family origin marriage was practiced among middle and lower class people. Fourth, same surname and same family origin marriage was practiced centered on people having populous surnames. This suggests that people who practiced same surname and same family origin marriage were likely to be middle and lower class people who came to have a surname and family origin in the process of acquiring a surname rapidly from the 18th century. In other words, most of the people who newly acquired a surname and family origin had existing populous surnames. They were less conscious of avoiding same surname and same family origin marriage than upper class people. As a result, there was a slight increase in same surname and same family origin marriage in the 18th century when a rapid acquisition of a surname took place. However, the consciousness of surname and family origin that upper class people had rapidly spread to middle and lower class people. This led to the spread of the perception of avoiding same surname and same family origin marriage through the change of family origins. Consequently, same surname and same family origin marriage began to decrease and disappeared since the 19th century.

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