Social Attitudes of Koreas New Middle Class: Focusing on the White Collar Workers of Big Companies

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Park, Joong-shik

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Population and Development Studies Center, Seoul National University
Korea Journal of Population and Development, Vol.21 No.2, pp. 243-257
This paper aims to clarify the confusion in the interpretation of social attitudes of the new middle class in Korea. Previous studies are not only limited in perspectives but they are confined to a narrow scope of political issues in a given period. Especially, the argument that the attitudes of the new middle class have a progressive character has misunderstood the complex and contradictory structure of their consciousness. This paper will question the validity of the thesis that the new middle class is among one of the most progressive social forces in Korea. The empirical studies on the middle class so far have exaggerated its progressive character. Rather, a multi-dimensional cleavage structure has been observed: social attitudes of the new middle class are dualistic, selective, discontinuous, and even contradictory.
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소)Development and SocietyKorea Journal of Population and Development Vol.21 No.1/2 (1992)
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