S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.45 No.1/3 (2016)
Work and Family Policy Framing and Gender Equality in South Korea: Focusing on the Roh Moo-huyn and Lee Myung-bak Administrations
- Ma, Kyoung Hee; Kim, Seung-Kyung; Lee, Jae Kyung
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.45 No.3, pp. 619-652
- work and family policy; gender equality; discursive politics; critical frame analysis; developmental state; developmentalism
- This research aims to identify the possibilities and limitations in realizing a feminist agenda through the state. To this end, we conduct a critical policy frame analysis of public speeches by top-level decision makers in relation to the work and family policy of two politically contrasting governments: The administrations of President Roh Moo-hyun (2003 to 2007) and Lee Myung-bak (2008 to 2012). The results demonstrate that despite some differences, the commonality between the two governments was that the work and family policy was based on an ‘instrumentalist women’s employment’ frame, influenced by a discourse of ‘developmentalism’ that originated from the developmental state experience of Korea in the 1960-1970s. This paper then sets out how this ‘instrumentalist women’s employment’ frame has consistently functioned to prohibit the work and family balance agenda from becoming a radical and reformative means to change unequal gender relations. In conclusion, we emphasize the importance of the feminist ideas outside the state based on the redistributive frame for the caring as citizens’ rights, since the Korean developmental state has fundamental limitations in realizing a feminist agenda.