Colloquium in Mar. 2021
Chung, Inkwan (Professor, Department of Information Sociology at Soongsil Univ.)
This research is a cross-national study of changes in intergenerational social mobility in Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. With social survey data on these countries in the early 1990s through the early 2010s, the study analyzes changes in the survey respondents’ occupation-based class and their father’s. The study finds that men in these countries have experienced both increasing downward and decreasing upward intergenerational social mobility, measured in absolute terms. However, in the analysis of the sample excluding the farmers and farm laborers, it is found that men in Korea and Japan have recently experienced little change in the mobility, and that women in the three countries have even experienced the slightly increasing upward mobility. Also, when controlling for changes in occupation and class structures induced by industrialization, the study finds that women and men in the all three countries have recently experienced more fluid intergenerational social mobility than in the past, and that among the youngest (born in ’75 through ’79) male cohorts in these countries, Koreans have experienced the most fluid mobility. The strength of the study lies in its reflection of East Asian societies’ experiences of dramatic industrialization in the analysis of their intergenerational social mobility, especially given the discussion of worsening intergenerational class reproduction in Korea.
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