The growing importance of the Korean economy in the global arena and the spread of the so-called ‘Korean wave’ in Asia mean there is an increasing desire to understand contemporary Korean Society. To this end, this book provides a critical and progressive analysis of the diverse issues that impact on and shape contemporary Korean society at both local and national levels.

The contributors address issues and movements which include:

    • The state and regime
    • Human rights
    • Gender
    • Civil society and social movements
    • Culture
    • Religion
    • Domestic and migrant labour
    • Welfare

The chapters in this volume provide a critical perspective on Korean society, and draw upon interdisciplinary research from across the social sciences. With contributions from leading Korean scholars and academics from around the world, this is a welcome addition to the growing field of Korean Studies, and will be of great interest to students and scholars interested in Korean studies, Korean and Asian culture and society, and Asian studies more generally.

chapter 1|17 pages

The structure of the South Korean developmental regime and its transformation

An analysis of the developmental regime of statist mobilization and authoritarian integration in the anticommunist regimentation
ByHee-Yeon Cho

chapter 2|10 pages

Gender inequality and patriarchal order recontexualized

ByUhn Cho

chapter 3|13 pages


Its origins and substance with competition and exclusion
ByWang-Bae Kim

chapter 4|10 pages

Economic development and women's status in Korea

ByMee-Hae Kong

chapter 5|11 pages

Social class and income inequality in Korea

ByKwang-Yeong Shin

chapter 7|11 pages

Growth and crisis of the Korean citizens' movement

ByDong-Choon Kim

chapter 8|11 pages

Two concepts of human rights in contemporary Korea

ByHyo-Je Cho

chapter 10|20 pages

The netizen movement

A new wave in the social movements of Korea
ByJinsun Lee

chapter 11|14 pages

Corruption in government— business relations in Republic of Korea

ByRajiv Narayan

chapter 12|13 pages

The environmental movement in South Korea*

BySungbok Yun

chapter 14|14 pages

Neoliberal globalization and labor relations in Korea

ByByoung-Hoon Lee

chapter 15|12 pages

Labor movements in democratized Korea

An old or new social movement?1
ByYoonkyung Lee

chapter 16|12 pages

Mobilizing public opinion for/against foreign labor policies in Korea, 1995—2005

NGOs, trade unions, and employers' associations in contested terrain1
ByDong-Hoon Seol