[Changes in the Korean family structure and the conflicts of ideology and practice in early socialization]






Table of Contents

Introduction. 4

The Traditional Family Ideologies of Korea and the Existing Problems  5

Changing Family Structure and Ideologies. 6

Government’s Response to the Situation. 7

Focus on Early Socialisation. 7

Issues of Child Care. 7

Conclusion. 7






The society of man has incessantly taken steps in finding ways to develop and achieve what can be described as progress. This reality is manifested in the pursuit of nations to find wealth and affluence within their own territories. Theories and models have been formulated to provide a means to help states in achieving such a stature in the world order. However, the chase towards the ever elusive prosperity of states may have certain adverse implications. What is construed as modern and innovative may have compromised the very fragment of society: the family. This is the main premise of the work of  in his discussion regarding the certain changes in Korean family culture in relation to the changing times. As seen in his work, he mirrors the recurring argument in literature pertaining to the implication of modernization with reference to the fast pace provided by industrialization and the consequent urbanization. Implied in his text is the fact that Korea has, in some way or another, achieved these elements in its state. And now, as  points at the early parts of his discussion, the existing traditional society may have encountered certain roadblocks in keeping with the demands of the modern world. That is to say, the traditional values and principles espoused by the common Korean family are slowly but surely finding its way to degradation. Essentially, what the article presents is a reality check on the imbalance of the Korean principles and values with the highly westernized standards brought about by progress. Fortunately,  also said that there is a chance for the Korean society to redeem itself and lift it up to the benefit of the entire society. However, the discussions in the article explicitly noted that the state have to look at the core of the problem and find ways to deal with it in the most opportune time. As said in the discussions of , this could be done by shaping the future of Korea into responsible and well-rounded citizens of the nation.

The Traditional Family Ideologies of Korea and the Existing Problems

Early on the discussion, the article presents the changes that occurred in the past decades in Korean society. For instance, the social indicators of the state have increased exponentially specifically its per capita GNP, urbanization, and the life expectancy. In the same manner, this early part of the study has also manifested a consistent decrease of extended families in the country in the past forty years. This manifestation alone establishes the concurrent sociological changes that have transpired in social order of Korea.

Along with these changes is compounded with the similar changes in the standards and principles of the generations in Korea. There is an apparent chasm between the younger and older generations in the country. Though this may be attributed to the changes in the family structure as seen in the changes in the social indicators and household,  on the other hand, intimates that this phenomenon is triggered by the changes brought about by industrialization and the concurrent modernization of society.

It has been mentioned that such modernization has taken a toll in the context of the family. Filial piety has been considered as old fashioned who prompted the author to claim that the initially noted collectivist culture has considerably crumbled in the past years. The problem, personally, in these types of assertion is that it expects society such that of Korea to be static in the incessant modernization that it has been experiencing in the past years. This is far from true; the dynamic nature of any society is universal. Change will take place, and in the instance that the culture has been affected is by no means the fault of modernization. It only implies that the “deep rooted” culture and values of the Korean society is not apparently that entrenched in its core; otherwise it would have endured any types of modernization that it encountered.

Changing Family Structure and Ideologies

The discussions of  cover several issues that have been noted as the flaws of the Korean family culture. First of these is what he coined as “boy preference.” This is explained as the implied obligation of the women of Korea to bear a child of male gender. The author even pushed it further that with the entrenched tradition that this require among married women, they even engage in what was coined as selective abortion. This apparently is the implication of such heavy pressure coming from the traditional cultures of the family on the female spouse.

Personally, this pressure is quite unreasonable. There is hence understandable that the common family is slowly veering away from the traditional standards and apparently making their own set of values. For a person to even consider selective abortion as an option and even an accepted alternative because of an unreasonable standard of society makes it really justified to change this type of standard which is innately unjust to the female spouse. Selective abortion, no matter how one sugar-coats it, is essentially the removal of the unborn child’s right to life. In any case, the Korean society would do well to do away with this appalling standard.

Another social problem that the author has pointed out is the erosion of the early socialization of children in Korea. The argument starts out as a description of early education in the country several decades ago. From what was considered overly elite has become one of the most indispensable part of the family life of the country. In a way, this kindergarten system is not only a means of developing the child early on, but it doubles as a day-care facility for working mothers in Korea. The author also points out that this may have an adverse effect on the younger generation as it also manifest signs of forced labour on the child in the early stages of their lives. This means that the children are forced to be educated without consideration thus eroding the childhood of these people.

Government’s Response to the Situation

In order to solve any social problem effectively, the help of the state is necessary. This is the stand of  in his discussions. Without the help of the state, the continuous degradation of the Korean family ideology will sustain. In this regard, he pointed out two areas on which would address the entire conundrum that the Korean society is facing. These include early socialization through education and a priority on the care of the child.

Focus on Early Socialisation

The author sustained the idea of the kindergarten system as a means of early socialization for the kids of Korea despite the adverse effects on which he mentioned earlier in his work. Agreeably, he mentioned that the system only requires certain adjustments that would eventually achieve the ends they require. Thus, a curriculum change is in order, one that is studied and approved by the state itself.

Issues of Child Care

Child care on the other hand, is viewed as one of the integral elements of early socialization. The support of the state required in this area is not limited to financial assistance to actual families.  motioned to improvements in the educational system and even in welfare programmes of the country.


The article of is an uncomforting look at the existing conditions of the Korean family as it is ushered into the arches of modernization and urbanization. The article pointed out the implications of these changes to the core of society, the family. As indicated, the traditional values espoused by Koreans are slowly taking a backseat over the more “modern” standards steered by the existing lifestyle attached to it. The answer, according to , is to address the problem by helping what he implied as the heart of the Korean society, the mother and her child. The issues of child-care and early socialization and education are among the few which could restore what may have been a society that has totally veered away from the deeply held ideologies of society.

The observations and arguments provided by in his work are sound and offer a scintilla of hope for the modern Korean society. However, there may have been some shortcomings in these discussions as  has strangely alienated the role of the father in the equation. To some extent, the claims of  rests on the assumption that all of the households in Korea lead a strictly patriarchal structure where only the female spouse has the duty to rear the child. The role of the father figure should also be taken into consideration to determine what would actually work in the changing social order. These individuals are not mere automatons with the sole purpose of earning a living for the family. Surely, they have a hand in the early socialization of their individual offspring. In the end, recognizing not only the child and the mother but also the need of the cooperation of the head of the family would allow the Korean society deal with the conflict of ideology and practice through early socialization.



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