Trends of Value Changes in Korea : Comparison of the Survey Results of 1979, 1998 and 2010

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Na, Eun-Yeong; Cha, Yu-Ri
Issue Date
Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
Korean Social Sciences Review(KSSR) Vol.4, No.1, pp. 361-414
valueschangegenerationgapKoreansindividualismgender equalitypost-authoritarianismassertivenesscommunication
Translated from the article published in the Korean Journal of Social and Personality
Psychology vol. 24, no. 4 (2010), with permission from the Society for Social and
Personality Psychology in Korean psychological Association.
By combining the survey result of 2010 to those of 1979 and 1998, this research aims to figure out how Koreans’ values have shifted for three decades and how it is expressed in generation gap. For that purpose, we conducted a face-to-face interview survey to 800 people after sampling 100 women and men respectively from people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s living in Seoul, six metropolitan cities and Gyeonggi Province’s cities and towns. The questionnaires in the survey were composed of 21 questionnaires on values (three questionnaires for individualism centered on oneself and family, post-authoritarianism, assertiveness, uncertainty avoidance, future orientation, gender egalitarianism, and affluent life), the same ones as those used in 1998, and one questionnaire on post-materialism The result showed that just like during the 19 years from 1979 to 1998, individualism centered on oneself and family and gender egalitarianism increased the most during the 12 years from 1998 to 2010. In some questionnaires in regards to post-authoritarianism and assertiveness, the importance on consideration for the seniors and humility showed a tendency of significant growth during the latter 12 years. In most of the values that radically changed, people in their 20s showed a much faster change during the first 19 years compared to people in their 50s, which contributed a significant generation gap. However, during the latter 12 years, we witnessed a generation gap being a little bit narrowed down as people in their 50s swiftly started to adjust to the changing world. Moreover, the survey conducted in 1998 right after the Asian financial crisis showed that people were retreating a little bit towards materialism and such tendency was spreading much more quickly among younger people. However, in 2010, even though the proportion of post-materialists was still higher among the younger population, the mixed type has decreased as the proportion of materialists among youngsters increased. The mixed type increased among the older generation as materialists among them has decreased, bringing down the generation gap. The 2010 survey was unique in that an increased number of respondents said that we do not have to be particularly hospitable to foreigners, which reflects a new cultural environment of the 21st century where the number of foreigners with various nationalities is dramatically rising. The values that received more than the majority of people’s approval regardless of their age and gender for the last three decades are important as the common ground for communication.
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Center for Social Sciences (사회과학연구원)Korean Social Sciences Review (KSSR)Korean Social Sciences Review (KSSR) Vol.04, No.01/02 (2014)
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