Married women and urban employment in Korea : class differentiation in income-opportunities

Moon, Uhn Cho
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Starting Page
Ending Page
Alternative Title
This study investigates class differentiation of women in their relationship to the labor process in one rapidly industrializing country. The main thrust of the study is to explore class differences in women's income-earning activities, concentrating on married women in different social strata in Seoul, the metropolis of Korea. The purpose of this approach is two-fold: to reappraise the concrete experience of female employment in Korea as an example of a developing society; and to reconceptualize the issue of female employment (or the integration of women) and economic development by relating it to the class stratification of the society. Unlike most previous work on the topic, the present study does not limit its scope to the conventional sense of female labor force participation in conceptualizing the integration of women into the development process. This study assumes that women's work is always an integral part of the national economic process; as integral as men's work is. The problematic point is not the degree, but the form, of integration. The empirical question this study is concerned with is how women are differentially integrated into the process of economic development, largely focusing on their relationship to the labor process in a broader sense than labor force participation. For this purpose, all forms of women's employment, both formal and informal, and both visible and invisible income-earning activities, are examined through analyzing official labor statistics of Korea and using a survey data on married women's socio-economic activities in the metropolis of the country. The findings of the study demonstrate the characteristics of female labor force participation and then income-earning activities in the process of rapid economic development in contemporary Korea. Most of all, they reveal differential absorption of female labor, leaving out urban married women from the labor force the most. However, it is shown that married women's income-earning activities in the metropolis of Korea are quite extensive and wide-ranging but with definite stratification not only in the means of earnings but also in rewards. The findings of the study present the ways Korean women's informal activities are related to class position of their families. Doubtlessly, their participation in the formal occupational structure must also be shaped by them. Most of all, this study has shed some light on the complex relationship of women to the labor process in the context of rapid economic development, emphasizing the class-bound characteristics of women's socio-economic activities.
Bibliography: leaves [174]-183.
xi, 183 leaves, bound 29 cm
Women -- Employment -- Korea, Married women -- Employment -- Korea, Married women -- Korea
Geographic Location
Time Period
Related To
Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Sociology; no. 1592
All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Rights Holder
Email if you need this content in ADA-compliant format.