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Has the Role Structure Really Changed between Husband and Wife in Korea?

Population and Development Studies Center, Seoul National University
Publication Date
  • Economics


In response to and because of the forces of industrialisation the Korean family has changed demographically, culturally, and socially. These changes are ‘'alive’' and exerting an influence upon everyday life in Korea - but traditional beliefs still persist. The paper focuses upon these changes with regard to changes in role structure. Role structure in traditional society was strictly differentiated inside and outside the home. It was rigorously dichotomised by sex and by age. The situation has changed in the process of industrialisation during the last a few decades. Four different sorts of role performances will be discussed; housework, childrearing, outside activities, and economic activities. In these areas a strict role differentiation was expected in traditional society, however the idea has greatly changed, meeting the demands of young generations, sometimes with deterioration of women's status.

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