Welfare attitudes in Korean society: effects of cohort and social exclusion

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Seunghoon Choi Yonsei University, South Korea

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Public awareness of social welfare policies, along with their increasing political influence, has led to growing interest in welfare attitudes. However, there has been insufficient consideration of the effects of different cohorts and social exclusion groups on attitudes to welfare in Korean society, as well as the dynamics of these effects. This article specifically examines changes in attitudes to welfare in South Korea with a focus on cohort and social exclusion perspectives. First, the study found that recent attitudes towards redistribution highlight generational perspectives on intergenerational conflict rather than a focus on social exclusion. Second, cohorts associated with democratisation and the information age displayed reluctance towards tax increases but held favourable views regarding redistributive policies and universal welfare. Third, socially excluded groups tended to favour selective welfare and tax increases. Finally, the current elderly generation, represented by the War-industrialisation cohort, exhibited relatively negative attitudes towards the welfare system compared to subsequent generations. These findings underscore the necessity for expanding government policies to enhance welfare understanding and experiences among the post-war generation and socially excluded groups. Additionally, it is crucial to address generational distributional justice and to broaden discussions on solidarity.

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Seunghoon Choi Yonsei University, South Korea

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