S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Korea Journal of Population and Development Vol.23 No.1/2 (1994)
Industrialization and the Formation of the New Middle Class in Korea
- Lee, Jung-Whan
- Issue Date
- Korea Journal of Population and Development, Vol.23 No.1, pp. 77-96
- The main objective of this paper is to expand the study of the new middle class both theoretically and empirically through an understanding of the ways in which Korea's unique development processes affect its formation. Throughout the last three decades, Korea underwent a deepening industrialization accompanying a rapid accumulation of capital, complex differentiation of industrial structure, and the expansion of social and economic organizations. With a rapid industrialization, the form and nature of the new middle class in Korea had quite different features from those found in the industrialized Western societies or Latin American countries. During the past three decades, the Korean new middle class grew significantly, especially in the manufacturing and private sectors, and experienced weak proletarianization. The Korean case challenges the Marxian historical theory and the Marxian conception of the new middle class which insist that the capitalist accumulation process results in proletarianization and polarization of class structure, accompanying a withering new middle class.
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