This research has several aims for revealing the work-family relationship in Korea. First of all, we will focus on the change of the relationship, i.e. how it has been changed since industrialization which was the main cause for these changes an ...
This research has several aims for revealing the work-family relationship in Korea. First of all, we will focus on the change of the relationship, i.e. how it has been changed since industrialization which was the main cause for these changes and brought about the important issues and problems surrounding the work-family relationship in our society. The need to redefine the work-family relationship, the need to reconstruct the public-private spheres, has been an important issue in the area of social policy, or/and in the gender studies in Europe since 1980s'. With this new problematic we have reviewed the consequences of the modernity which have brought the separation of workplace from home, and also the post-modernization process which made more mothers work outside home. The post-modern social changes have been also accompanied by the new familial attitudes, and marital role expectations.
Although the changes related with the work-family relationship in Korea have been very rapid ones, it doesn't seem that the researches on them are sufficient. So this study tried to construct the history of women's work experiences through which the work-family relationship revealed themselves. Moreover in this research we statistically analyzed the diversity of the work-family relationship.
As for the first year of the research we collected the oral histories of working women. The 38 subjects of the study were selected in terms of occupation, generation, and marital status according to the 3 periodical distinctions since 1960's. And for the second year of the research we carried out a statistical research on 1,200 women and men to analyze the diverse conflicts they confront.
In the first year of the historical research the diachronic work-family relationship since 1960s was divided into 3 periods. Firstly, from 1960s' to 70's industrialization period the labor market was proved to be composed mainly of unmarried single women, and the conflicts of work-family relationship of married working women, mainly farmers, were not recognized as the social problem to be solved. Secondly, through 1980's, the married women continuously participated in work outside home, and the conflicts of the relation between the two were enlarged. Lastly, since 1990's, the discourses on work-family relationship and the policy making efforts have been emerging. The history of more than 40 years of women's work experiences showed the complicated efforts of married women to adjust to the malignant social condition by using the reproductive strategies or kinship system. Compared to the women's efforts encompassing the two areas, men's participation in the domestic work was very rare and limited.
The result of the second year research showed the great variability of women's attitudes between the subjective experiences and the normative expectations. Although a lot of women desired eagerly for employment, they have kept the traditional thought in which they had considered domestic works as their primary roles and haven't given up the home-centeredness within their self-identities. Simultaneously, while they have suffered from the irregular jobs and overworking, they have hardly spoken out their problems as the social issues not to mention about organizing their demands for the social solutions.
These findings, the outcomes of diachronic and synchronic researches, will be useful for building up the ground data and making up the theoretical frameworks toward work-family reconciliation in Korea.